By Sarah Battest
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Feb. 27, 2002
Law school faculty, students and administrators recommend tuition hike to ease budget cuts
The University of Arizona law school taskforce on tuition has recommended raising tuition to ease problems associated with the recent budget cuts.
The faculty committee, which is made up of faculty, students and administrators of the James E. Rogers College of Law, announced the recommendations to students yesterday and welcomed student feedback.
The tuition increase would be $500 for law school students, raising their semester tuition to $3,250.
For masters of law students, the tuition increase would result in a $4,250 semester bill.
The law school has also recommended asking the Arizona Board of Regents for discretion in possibly raising tuition between $1,500 and $5,000 over the next three years beginning fall of 2003.
This increase would only affect incoming law school students, providing those who are already in the law program a guaranteed tuition rate, said Kirsten Copeland, president of Graduate and Professional Student Council.
"I don't think the law school has any choice," said Copeland, herself a third-year law student.
Recent state mandated budget cuts of $15.8 million resulted in the law school giving back $500,000 to offset budget cuts.
To make up for the tuition increases, 15 percent to 20 percent of the tuition money is planned to go back into financial aid for law school students, Copeland said.
Even with the tuition increases, the law school would still be cheaper than most, said Melissa Meister, a second-year law student.
"It's only $5,500. It's double in California," she said.
Copeland said she believes the budget cuts would not be as drastic if the state Legislature had made higher education more of a priority within their agendas.
"I don't think the problem will be solved, which is the failure of the state to fund higher education," Copeland said.
Another student forum will be at 12:15 pm Friday at the law school, Room 140.