Despite increased tuition, U of A brings in largest Freshman class

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The most recent round of state budget cuts forced University of Arizona administrators to raise tuition.  But the increased cost couldn't keep the school's largest-ever freshman class from enrolling.

As the school year kicks off at the U of A, you'll have to forgive the campus student affairs office for being proud.

"We have about 7,300 Freshmen which is a record number, 300 more than we had last year," said Melissa Vito UA Student Affairs.

Their calling it the largest, smartest and most diverse freshman class in school history.

The number of applicants was up over last year, including a record breaking number of honors students which helped boost the average GPA and SAT scores above last year's class.

"It's a really exciting time of the year if any of you have walked through campus you can see all the excitement and energy out there," said Vito.

Also up over last year is the cost of tuition. Thanks to state budget cuts and the harrowing economy the cost of classes now stands at an all-time high for the university. That's something student affairs is aware of and ready to tackle.

"Finding ways to minimize increases to students.  It's hard to make up for the state cuts," said Vito.

The undergraduate population will come in near 30,000 students, slightly higher than last year's enrollment.

Diversity among the Freshman class is also way up.  Nearly 40% of the class is a made up of diverse ethnic backgrounds.