By Stephanie Schwartz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday November 26, 2002
Many think the UA would be a great buy; others fear accessibility could suffer
Students and faculty had mixed reactions to President Pete Likins' proposals of an increase in financial aid coupled with tuition increases of $500 to $1,000 for in-state undergraduates.
Regents are proposing to set aside 14 percent of tuition for financial aid in combination with increased tuition.
The three models all proposed tuition increases of $1,250 next year for non-resident undergraduate students, $1,500 for non-resident graduate students and $750, $1,000 and $1,500, respectively for resident graduate students.
"As a group, students will be better off than they are now with the president's third model (of raising tuition by $1,000)," said John Nametz, director of financial aid. "The needy students would have less need for loans and other students who could afford to pay would, in fact, pay more tuition."
But whether or not the proposed tuition increase would come with a hefty increase in the amount of need-based financial aid available to students is also a concern to some.
Ryan Patterson, director of the student lobbyist group Arizona Students' Association, said he would like to see a package with more financial aid.
"I have heavy reservations as far as the financial aid part of the proposals," Patterson said. "We want financial aid to be as big a number as humanly possible so we won't cut the UA's accessibility to students."
The UA remaining accessible has been a major concern with proposals of increasing tuition.
If the UA did not do anything but raise tuition, the university could expect some drop in enrollment, said Rick Kroc, director of assessment and enrollment research, but the simultaneous increase in financial aid was created to counteract that.
The models proposed by Likins and the presidents of ASU and NAU all assumed the freshmen class will grow by 200 students at the time of the tuition increase.
"If all three universities raise tuition, more students may go to community colleges," Kroc said. "But, from a student's perspective, we are still a very good buy in terms of what we offer here and tuition, even if there is an increase."
Students showed mixed reactions to the idea of a tuition increase.
"I don't really care because my parents pay for it," undeclared freshman Dana Goodman said. "I don't know that it would be a big deal."
"I have a tuition waiver so as long as they pay, I don't mind," business freshman Jacob Reuben said. "I think they should raise tuition even more for out- of-state students."
"I hope tuition stays the same, but it wouldn't be bad if it increased if the money went to reduce class size and those types of things," business freshman Jacob Levy said.
"Any plan is going to help some and hurt some," Nametz said. "But I think this president is the most student-friendly you're going to get and he has the students' interests in his heart."
The Arizona Board of Regents agreed last week to set tuition in March, a month earlier than usual.