Tuition hikes highest in U.S.

By Nick Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 10, 2005

The percentage increase of in-state tuition at the UA since the 2002-2003 school year is the highest in the nation, according to a USA Today survey.

While the UA's tuition has increased by 74.1 percent over the past three years, it remains on the lower end of the level of tuition.

The survey was conducted on 67 flagship schools in all 50 states. The UA ranks first in percentage increase over the past three years. Arizona State University ranks fourth in the nation for tuition hikes with an increase of 70.4 percent, according to the survey.

The UA also ranks 54 out of 67 in gross levels of tuition while ASU ranks 57th, according to the survey.

The UA's funding stems from two sources, tuition and state funding, said Fernando Ascencio, director of the Arizona Students' Association and political science senior. A problem occurs when state funding is not high enough, and the Arizona Board of Regents members are forced to raise tuition to make ends meet, Ascencio said.

To curb rising tuition, the Arizona Senate passed SB 1517, which requires the regents to submit recommendations to keep tuition affordable, but future tuition increases will probably not be eliminated by the state Legislature, Ascencio said.

"It would take a political act of extraordinary proportions," said President Peter Likins at the Sept. 30 regents meeting.

Because the rate of tuition depends on how much funds are allocated from the state, the universities must make up the difference by increasing tuition if the state does not give enough money for higher education, Likins said.

"The general public needs to understand this trade-off," Likins said.

2005-06 2004-05 Percent Change

Tuition Tuition change since 2002

UA in-state $4,497 $4,097 9.8% 74.1%

out of state $13,681 $13,077 4.6% 23.2%

ASU in-state $4,406 $4,064 8.4% 70.4%

out of state $15,095 $12,919 16.8% 35.9%

Source: USA Today