Student leaders show support for tuition proposal
UA student leaders urged the Arizona Board of Regents to approve a proposed guaranteed tuition model at the regents’ tuition hearing Tuesday night.
The hearing, which was one of three taking place on the campuses of Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the UA, was held by the regents for the public to discuss the tuition proposals the state universities submitted for the 2014-2015 academic year.
The UA’s proposal calls for a 2 percent tuition increase for in-state students and a 5 percent increase for out-of-state students. The proposal would also have the UA begin implementation of a guaranteed tuition plan for new students. An optional plan would be offered to current students.
“This [guaranteed tuition plan] was developed with the partnership of our student body leaders and at their request,” said UA president Ann Weaver Hart.
Morgan Abraham, an engineering management senior and president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, launched a campaign to rally student support behind a guaranteed tuition model. ASUA collected postcards and signatures, launched a website and tabled on the UA Mall to grow support for the campaign.
“Our president [Hart] not only listened to the concerns of the students, parents and alumni about predictable tuition,” Abraham said, “but she acted on it.”
ASUA student leaders read some of the thousands of postcards UA students made in support of a guaranteed tuition plan.
“Guaranteed tuition might motivate me and more people knowing that they’re going to know exactly what they’re going to be paying for the next four years,” said one of the letters read by Issac Ortega, a business economics junior and ASUA president-elect.
Zach Brooks, a second language acquisition and teaching graduate student and president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, said he supported ASUA’s campaign for a guaranteed tuition plan and asked for a similar plan to be extended to graduate students.
Abraham called the proposed tuition increases for the next academic year unfortunate but understandable, given the lack of state support for the UA. Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget proposal would give the UA about 10 percent of the regents’ funding request.
Brooks said the UA administration was doing its best with the tuition proposal given the uncertainty of what state support will be given to the UA, though he expressed concerns about proposed fee increases.
“It’s easy to see that tuition increases are being asked for,” Brooks said.