State Relations

December 10, 2007

Arizona Universities’ Trying Different Tuition Increase Approaches

After years of slow to moderate tuition increases, Arizona’s three major universities are poised for significant jumps in the resident undergraduate tuition in the next academic year.  However, two of the schools are also trying novel approaches to keeping that tuition predictable over the course of the student’s period of study.

Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe will raise tuition and fees for freshmen and community college transfer students by almost 14 percent next fall, but will then “cap” future tuition increases at 5 percent.  Resident undergraduate tuition at ASU for freshmen will go from $5,000 per year to $5,659 next year and then increase by no more than 5 percent per year thereafter.  Returning students at ASU will see there tuition go up next year by 5 percent.

Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff is taking a stab at what is called “cohort pricing.”  NAU Regents plan to increase tuition and fees by 12 percent for new students then lock that rate in for those students for four years.  The ASU and NAU tuition policies are a significant departure from current practice whereby tuition rises at the same level for ALL undergraduate regardless of their academic class.

The University of Arizona in Tuscon will increase their tuition rates by 9.8% for ALL resident undergraduate students but the school is not offering guaranteed rates or caps on tuition for the future.

According to the Arizona Republic, student groups has asked each board to freeze tuition and requested that the Arizona Legislature kick in additional funds to each university so that each campus would have sufficient budget support.