Regents looking at financial aid, final vote on ASU Havasu campus

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – State budget cuts have prompted the Arizona Board of Regents to take a close look at student financial-aid programs at Arizona’s universities.

The budget cuts mean the universities are receiving less in the way of state funding.

A special task force is slated to meet in the coming months to develop some ideas that it will present to the full board this spring.

The task force’s goal is twofold: Make the financial-aid money go further and offer more scholarships to students from middle- and lower-class families.

One possibility is to give students incentives to complete their degrees faster or major in certain subject. Even before the task force gets to work on the financial-aid issue, the entire Board of Regents will vote on the future of Arizona State University Havasu.

At issue is whether to establish an ASU campus in the western Arizona city of Lake Havasu.

If the board votes to move ahead, ASU will be allowed to lease a property that used to be a middle school and open the new campus for fall 2012.

There reportedly would be majors in four disciplines offered – psychology, communications, biology and business. In-state tuition is expected to be less than that at ASU, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

Not all of the regents have looked over the final agreement but they say they do not anticipate anything blocking their approval for ASU-Havasu.

Regent Fred DuVal says he's enthusiastic about the Lake Havasu model calling it the prototype from which he hopes more will come. When the idea was first floated, it was expected that four more similar campuses would be opened by 2020. It’s not clear if that is still in the works.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.