Regents to set tuition, increase likely

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Students across Arizona may have to dig deeper into their pocketbooks to pay next year's tuition.

The Arizona Board of Regents will set tuition today at their monthly meeting in Tempe and board members say students can expect an increase in the price of next year's tuition.

At a special hearing on tuition April 11, students from across the state pleaded with regents to keep tuition as low as possible. Student leaders asked the board to keep any tuition increase within 0 to 3 percent above this year.

"I'm pretty confident we will see only about a 3 percent increase," said Paul Allvin, executive director of the Arizona Students' Association. "No one on the board has indicated that they will ask for more than that."

But the presidents of the three universities have asked the regents to consider larger increases. Arizona State University President Lattie Coor and Northern Arizona University President Clara Lovett asked for a 5 percent increase. University of Arizona President Manuel T. Pacheco asked the regents to consider a 6.5 percent increase.

Tuition is $1,828 for residents and $7,434 for non-resident students. Resident students could expect a $55 to $110 increase, and non-residents would need an additional $223 to $446 for tuition next year.

At least one regent said he feels the board will lean toward the higher end of the proposals.

"I expect us to settle somewhere between 3 and 6 percent," said Regent Hank Amos. "Students have asked for a 0 to 3 percent increase and the regents are all very sensitive to students' needs. But a 0 percent increase would be too little and we would have to make up the increase next year with a huge increase."

Other regents said they still haven't decided what vote they will cast in the tuition decision.

"I haven't made up my mind yet. I want to hear what everyone else has to say," said Regent Andy Hurwitz.

"Historically, I have supported the belief of low tuition and I suppose I will continue to do that," Regent Doug Wall said.

The board can opt to approve a larger increase for non-resident students than resident students.

"There is a feeling among some of the board members that students should be given some consideration when the tuition increase is split up, since they and their parents are taxpayers," Amos said.

But Allvin said asking non-resident students to pay more than a 3.5 percent increase would be "exploiting them," by asking them to pay more than the cost of attendance.

Associated Press wire reports contributed to this story.

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