Regents amend tuition rules

By Joseph Barrios

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Board of Regents adopted eight recommendations Friday that will change how and when tuition is set at the three Arizona Universities.

The Commission on Student Costs and Financial Assistance, overseen by Regent Rudy Campbell, submitted the recommendations to the board so the tuition-setting process would be more accurate and convenient for students. All the recommendations were passed by the board with some amendments.

The recommendations require the three Arizona universities to:

Submit to the board a report listing all resources and uses of student financial aid for the preceding fiscal year.

Use a common framework for the calculation of the "cost of attendance" that is with federal guidelines.

Each year the financial aid amount set aside for each university shall be determined by multiplying gross registration fee revenues for the fiscal year (8 percent for the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, and 9 percent for Northern Arizona University), but the amounts generated shall be no less than the total amount set aside in 1994-95.

Tuition should be set

each year during the spring semester. "Cost of attendance" data will be provided as information for the tuition hearing and tuition-setting process.

Under the current tuition-setting policy, the board only uses Arizona's resident and non-resident tuition rates and compares them to other schools around the country. "Cost of attendance" will encompass fees, books, room and board and other living expenses.

The Arizona Students' Association, a statewide student lobbying group, thinks one of the major victories in the vote is the agreement by the regents to have tuition plans out to the students by the spring semester. The regents discussed estimating what tuition would be for the 1995-96 semester.

"I do think it will be misunderstood. But that's what we agreed to do, and that's what we should work for," said ASU President Lattie Coor.

Coor said that students could be misled by tuition estimates set by the board because there is no way of determining what tuition will be until the Arizona State Legislature finalizes its budget near the end the spring semester, after the tuition estimate had been released. Regent John Munger agreed.

But ASA delegates were pleased the board was receptive to the changes in tuition. All the recommendations were passed, some with amendments.

Student body presidents from the UA, ASU and NAU submitted a five-step process for setting tuition for the 1995-96 year, including letting the Council of Presidents release their recommendation early.

The council usually suggests how much tuition should be during the meeting where the regents actually set tuition, leaving little leeway for student input. The regents will re-evaluate that policy in their January meeting. Ben Driggs, ASA student delegate, said the council's recommendations usually turn into board policy."

"There's no window of opportunity for students to react," Driggs said.

ASA is anticipating the January meeting of the board when the final changes in tuition policy will be discussed.

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