[Wildcat Online: opinions] [ad info]





Editorial: In-state tuition for Nevada, Utah bad for state

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 25, 2000
Talk about this story

Under a proposal recently passed by the Arizona Board of Regents, students from regions of Nevada and Utah bordering Arizona would be able to enter Arizona state universities at the in-state tuition rates. This proposal forces Arizona to bear the cost of educating students to whom it has no obligation, and while it helps those who get cheaper tuition, it hurts the rest of us by costing the state money.

In-state tuition is significantly lower than the actual cost the state pays to educate a student. To a great extent, this is why out-of-state students have to pay more. While an Arizona student pays only about $2000 per year in tuition, it costs the state of Arizona closer to $6000 to educate him or her. This is expensive, certainly, but it is money well spent on educating students within the state. Thus, we do not give the same subsidies to students from outside Arizona, and their tuition includes not only the cost of their education, which is the same as any other student, but an extra amount to help with the subsidies for those whom the universities were intended.

Proponents of subsidizing the education of students in the border regions of Utah and Nevada say that it is justified by the geography of the region. Students in the southern portions of the states in question may well be closer to NAU than they are to their own state universities. This, however, is none of our problem. Rather, it should be the concern of the governments of Utah and Nevada. In essence, by accepting these students at in-state tuition rates, the state of Arizona is paying the penalty for the poor geographic situation in these other states.

It is reasonable to allow these students to attend the university closest to them: in all of these cases, NAU. Allowing them cut-rate entry into ASU and UA, schools that are far more distant than UNLV or other state schools, is absurd. If the state governments of Utah and Nevada want their students to attend Arizona schools, it falls upon them to provide the financial subsidies, not the state of Arizona.

Increased attendance is, in some sense, good for the university. More students means more money, and not just in tuition dollars. Students spend money on campus housing, food and books. They infuse money into the local economy by spending funds sent in from outside of the state. However, in the more concrete sense that those of us at the university deal with every day, more students would be a bad thing.

Just as an increased number of students paying in-state tuition is good for the university, it is bad for the state. Remember, in the end, it is the state that foots the bill for the university, and it costs them thousands of dollars for every student paying in-state, rather than out-of-state, tuition.

For students within Arizona, it makes sense for the Legislature to subsidize education. After all, the goal of the university system is to provide affordable education for students within the state. It is recognized that the money paid out by the state for students is spent in the pursuit of this goal. Nowhere, however, does the goal of the state of Arizona include educating the students of Nevada and Utah, no matter how close they live to us.

[end content]
[ad info]