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By Zach Thomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 6, 1998

Soldiers and their families may get tuition break

PHOENIX - U.S. soldiers and their families may be on their way to getting a tuition break at state universities, so long as they claim Arizona as their official state of residence.

Military personnel stationed out of state should still be allowed to claim Arizona residency so they, or their children, won't have to pay out-of-state tuition, according to Sen. Gus Arzberger, who introduced a bill to ensure just that.

The legislation stems from a complaint lodged with the Willcox Democrat by an Air Force officer based in New Jersey.

Col. Michael Sotak, whose son Brian is a high school senior, has two vehicles registered in Arizona and an Arizona driver license, and owns property in rural Arizona. The family has also been paying Arizona income taxes since 1994.

University of Arizona regulations, however, still consider the Sotaks out-of-state residents - subject to much higher UA tuition rates.

Full-time, in-state students paid $2,060 in tuition and fees to attend the UA in 1997-98. Out-of-state students paid $8,712 for the year.

Arzberger's legislation, SB 1174, easily cleared the Senate Education Committee yesterday, but still must clear the Rules Committee before going to the floor for a full vote.

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