The Arizona Board of Regents, the governing body of Arizona’s three public universities, voted to change how state universities, including the University of Arizona, set their student tuition and fees Friday, Nov. 16.
“This year we have taken another important leap forward in our tuition- and fee-setting process,” said John Arnold, the new executive director of the board.
The regents will now approve all increases in base tuition, differential tuition, mandatory fees, program fees and class fees. Previously, universities were not required to have the regents approve class fees less than $100.
The goal of the new changes is to increase regent oversight over the growth of academic fees.
The policy changes come in response to legislation passed by the Arizona State Legislature that requires the regents’ approve all new fees or online program tuition increases. Input from the universities, an Auditor General’s audit and previous regent discussions have also contributed to the new policy.
One of these previous regents discussions took place on campus last semester. During the meeting, the regents expressed hope that future changes would increase accessibility, affordability and transparency in the tuition and fee setting process.
In line with these goals, the new policy requires universities to notify and consult with student representatives on all tuition and fee increases, except for class fees. This is in addition to the regents’ public meetings, where students can provide input on proposed increases or changes.
All current academic fees will remain in place, but all academic fees will be subject to a review process and can be unilaterally eliminated by UA’s president.
Over the next ten years, UA will review all of its academic fees, including class fees, mandatory fees and program fees, deciding what fees are necessary to keep and at what cost to students. As part of this review process, the regents will give each fee reviewed that year a sunset date, or a year in which the fee must be submitted for re-approval to the regents or face elimination.
These new policies also expand the requirements of new academic fee proposals by UA. This is something the UA will have to take into account, along with student input, over the next six months as it puts together its 2019-2020 tuition and fee rate proposal for regent approval next semester.
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