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Arizona Board of Regents approves 2013-14 university base tuition, fees

April 04, 2013

Increased efficiencies and aggressive cost reductions at Arizona’s public universities, coupled with an improved state budget outlook, enabled the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) to approve only modest tuition increases for the upcoming academic year. 

At its regular board meeting, ABOR approved tuition and fee rates for the 2013-14 academic year, with increases of 3 percent for students at all Arizona State University campuses and all University of Arizona students. Northern Arizona University students will have a 2 to 5 percent increase in tuition. Continuing resident undergraduate students on NAU’s Tuition Pledge Plan will see no increase, with incoming undergraduate students seeing an increase of 5 percent.

“It is not an easy decision to raise tuition by any amount,” said Rick Myers, ABOR chair. “We want Arizona’s students, families and the public to know that we are doing everything we can to operate as efficiently as possible to hold costs down. Our universities are among the most efficient in the nation, and as a result we are able to hold the line with minimal tuition increases.”

Per-student expenditures at the universities have decreased nearly 10 percent from 2008 to 2012, while at the same time, enrollment has increased 17 percent, or 23,000 students – roughly the size of NAU – and per-student funding from state appropriations has decreased by 50 percent.

“During the rough economic downturn, we had unprecedented enrollment growth and a precipitous drain in funding,” said Myers. “Our university presidents have worked hard to dig deep and make meaningful changes that keep our costs as low as possible. Simple but purposeful changes, such as embracing new learning technologies, increasing energy conservation, and consolidating academic programs are just a few of the ways our universities are evolving to streamline.”

Arizona’s public universities offer a tuition that is competitive and remains lower than the average of its peers. (The universities compare themselves to other institutions having similar missions, student population sizes, endowments, and so forth, to provide benchmark comparisons that are essential to the university’s assessment strategies.) Tuition ranges from 9 to 17 percent less* than the average of their respective peer institutions. Grant and scholarship aid at Arizona’s universities is 15 to 30 percent greater** than the average of their respective peer institutions, thereby increasing access to the universities.

*2013 ABOR analysis of IPEDs data

**2011 IPEDS data

Resident undergraduate students at NAU Statewide and Yuma and NAU Yavapai will pay an increase of 3 percent more next year, or $6,705 and $5,097, respectively. Resident undergraduate students at UA South will see a 2.8 percent increase to $8,166.
Differential tuition at the UA law school will decrease and when coupled with the base tuition increase will result in a lower overall tuition sticker price. ASU law school differential tuition for its juris doctorate degree also will decrease and will offset the base tuition increases to result in an overall zero-percent increase. Following are links to information on differential tuition rates for UA and ASU law schools.

The board also approved modest increases in residence halls, student and family housing and meal plans.
Student housing at ASU will increase by 2.0 percent and required meal plans by 2.8 percent.

Student housing at NAU will increase by 1.9 percent, with no increase in family housing.  Meal plans at NAU will increase by 2.3 percent. Undergraduate housing at the UA will increase by 2.2 percent, with no increase in graduate housing.

In setting tuition, the board considers numerous factors including funding adequacy to achieve goals in the Arizona Higher Education Enterprise plan; the overall cost of attendance and median family income; student financial aid, including financial aid supported from tuition and fee revenues; net price for low-income students; enrollment in high access options; and high access/low cost degree options.

The regents recently led a public, interactive tuition hearing on March 27 during which students and other interested parties gave feedback to the tuition proposals. 

“The Board of Regents is committed to helping Arizona students achieve their college and career goals and to providing the highly-skilled graduates needed to sustain a vibrant economy for Arizona,” said Regent Anne Mariucci, chair of the ABOR Business and Finance Committee. “State funding remains critical in ensuring we achieve optimal affordability and accessibility for Arizona’s students. Through our 
performance-based funding model, we are committed to delivering important economic imperatives for our state. Just like in any other business, if we don’t perform, we don’t believe Arizona’s taxpayers should pay. The good news is we are well on our way to achieving our aggressive goals. We appreciate the commitment of the Governor and the Legislature to higher education.”

The 2013-14 tuition requests for resident graduate, non-resident graduate and undergraduate students, differential tuition, and mandatory fees, program fees and class fees were approved for all three universities. A list of all final, approved tuition rates is available here.