FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: Shayna Stevens, shayna@azstudents.org

April 21, 2016                                                                                       Michael Martinez, mmartinez@azstudents.org

 

           STATEMENT ON UNIVERSITY TUITION INCREASES

 Phoenix, AZ – On April 7th, 2016, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) approved a 2016-2017 tuition plan that included across the board increases on base tuition rates for students attending Arizona’s three public universities.

The Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) is vehemently opposed to any plan proposed by ABOR that would continue to further what has become a long line of recent tuition and fee increases.  Since 2008, the cost of attending one of our state’s public universities has doubled for Arizona students and we should be finding ways to stop this trend before students, burdened by these increased fees, are priced out of earning a higher education.

We also fully understand that, even though these plans have been approved by ABOR, the responsibility for these continued tuition hikes falls solely on the shoulders of the Arizona State Legislature.  For years, legislators at the Capitol have promoted special interest at the expense of our public education system.  They have willingly made it more difficult to pay for a higher education and created millions of dollars in new debt taken on by parents and students to pay for their college degrees.

This is not a sustainable model and cannot be continued moving forward.  ASA urges leadership in the State House and Senate to take action immediately by granting ABOR’s request for an additional $24 million to our public universities by rolling-back the large cut in funding approved by the legislature in 2015. We also urge leadership to approve the additional $8 million back to public universities proposed in Governor Ducey’s budget.

While we still don’t believe this extra $32 million dollars is nearly enough to help create higher education that is as “nearly free as possible,” we do believe it is a decent start in stopping a trend that has seen our university funding be decreased by more than 32% in recent years.  It’s time that Arizona begins to reinvest in our students.