Senate signs tuition plan

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The ASUA Senate voted unanimously last week to endorse a student lobbying group's managed tuition plan and timeline for setting tuition.

Under the Arizona Student Association's managed tuition plan, which was created by ASUA President T.J. Trujillo and University of Arizona ASA Director Ben Driggs, tuition could only be raised a set percentage each year, said Paul Allvin, ASA Executive Director.

If the Arizona Board of Regents wanted to raise the tuition more than the set percentage, he said, they would need to ask the state legislature for enough money to cover need-based financial aid for all in-state students.

The maximum increase would be redetermined every four years and the same percentage may not be used for both in-state and out-of-state students, Allvin said.

Another aspect of ASA's proposal requires the regents to set tuition in the fall semester. Tuition is currently set in the spring semester, Allvin said.

"Students never know how much their tuition will increase and when they find out in the spring, they do not have enough time to prepare for the increases," Allvin said. He said the priority deadline for financial aid is March 1, but tuition for the following year is not usually set until April.

"The proposal allows students to plan ahead," said Undergraduate Sen. Rhonda Wilson. "For a lot of people a $50 increase may not be a lot. But other people, who are barely here as it is, an unexpected increase at the end of the year could keep them out of school."

"If the Senate endorses the proposal, it shows a wider pool of acceptance," Allvin said. "The more groups that endorse the proposal, the more legitimacy it has."

"When ASA proposes something, the legislature looks at them as just 21 people. They want to see support from students who vote in their districts," Wilson said.

The Associated Students of Northern Arizona University also voted to endorse the plan, Allvin said. The student government at Arizona State University may vote on the proposal during the next few weeks.

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