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Likins' tuition proposal: more fees


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CASSIE TOMLIN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA President Peter Likins released his tuition proposal yesterday afternoon in the Union Kiva Room of the Student Union Memorial Center. Likins' proposal includes a $400 increase for in-state undergraduates and a mandatory information technology fee of $60 for all students.
By Natasha Bhuyan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
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Following two years of the highest tuition hikes in UA history, President Peter Likins proposed another tuition increase in addition to mandatory and program fees at a press conference yesterday.

All students could be required to pay a mandatory fee of $60 next year for information technology, on top of a tuition increase of $400 for resident undergraduates, Likins said.

The proposals from both administration and student leaders will be voted on by Arizona Board of Regents March 10, to decide which proposal will be approved.

Additional tuition surcharges for eight university programs may also apply, Likins said.

After two years of tuition increases, which have doubled the UA's tuition rates, Likins recommended a tuition increase of $400 for resident undergraduates, $500 for non-resident undergraduates and a $600 increase for graduate students.

However, Likins' plan is also laced with fees, such as the information technology fee, which would fund wireless Internet access on campus and classroom upgrades in technology.

Under Likins' proposal, the existing differential tuition surcharge in the Eller College of Management, also known as a program fee, would increase from $500 to $750.

The program fee in the College of Pharmacy would go up from $4,500 to $7,000, and evening and weekend masters of business administration students could pay a fee of $40,000, up from $30,000 last year.

In addition to increasing existing fees, Likins proposed five new program fees, including $300 for juniors and seniors in the College of Engineering, and $500 for all students in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, minus freshmen.

Susan Moody, assistant dean in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, said the $500 program fee would be helpful in paying expenses related to equipment and technology.

"In order to educate students well, we need to have access to those tools," Moody said.

Three graduate programs could also see new program fees next year.

Likins recommended a $600 fee for public health master's students in the College of Public Health, a $1,400 fee for part-time master's of science in planning students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and a $2,800 fee for their full-time counterparts.

Likins defended the proposed tuition increases and fees, and said with the state shrinking its contribution to the university's budget, tuition increases are necessary in order to maintain the quality of education.

Likins said he would tell students who are upset with the increases he is sorry, but would ask them to help him persuade the state to provide the UA more money.

Last year, the state contributed 29.7 percent of the UA's budget, according to reports from the board of regents.

Despite the increases, Likins promised to protect the university's most needy students by continuing to allocate 15 percent of tuition revenue to financial aid, a figure that could rise in the future.

"As we accelerate our prices, we will dramatically accelerate financial aid," Likins said.

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The UA spends $12,000 per student, so even with about $4,000 for resident tuition, in-state students are getting a two-thirds subsidy from taxpayers, Likins said.

Student lobbyists released their tuition counterproposal yesterday, but unlike the student proposal, Likins' proposal did not specify exactly where tuition would be allocated besides financial aid.

Student Body President Alistair Chapman said the student proposal is stronger than Likins' because the student proposal directly addresses the student concerns of class availability and graduate assistant tuition remission, while also providing a specific monetary commitment to such issues.

"We are mindful of the fact that students are saying to us that class availability is a concern," Likins said, although he did not specify how much he would allot to the problem.

Likins' tuition proposal would generate $1.9 million in revenue after financial aid and graduate assistant tuition remission is deducted, said ASA Director Ryan Patterson.

Although the figure is higher than the students' plan, Likins' tuition revenue would go directly to the university operating budget as unrestricted dollars, which may be spent on anything administration deems necessary.

Likins said he does not expect students will leave the university because of his recommendations, but said students may have to work or take out loans to pay the additional costs.

"The question is not 'Who will not be able to do this,' but 'Who will choose not to do this?'" Likins said.

A statewide tuition hearing will be held March 2, and the regents must approve either the student or administrative tuition proposal March 10 and 11.

- Jennifer Amsler contributed to this report.



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