University of Arizona students face steep tuition hike

Joining a growing number of states slashing state university budgets while raising tuition, the University of Arizona is proposing a 22-percent tuition hike, which would increase base tuition and fees by $1,790. If the proposal is passed by the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona's tuition will have nearly doubled in just six years.

Slashing costs, raising rates

Tuition has increased at University of Arizona in the last 24 out of 25 years. The latest hike is a direct result of the state cutting its funding of UA by about 25 percent--which equals out to about $100 million in cuts since 2008. The school has already slashed costs by merging departments and programs, offering larger and fewer classes, reducing maintenance and cutting 600 jobs. In spite of the fact that there's a mandate in the state's constitution that higher education in Arizona be as close to free as possible, there is a strategic plan to keep raising tuition. University of Arizona's official strategic plan calls for tuition to be $11,400 in 2016 and $13,900 by 2020. Anybody familiar with the university system in any state realized that these figures are somewhat misleading because they don't include many of the other costs associated with a college education, including books and other weighty fees.

The latest hike was announced while UA students were on spring break, so the campus is relatively quiet, but students have sent hundreds of emails and made hundreds of phone calls to state lawmakers this week.

Students all over the state affected

Arizona State University students have not come out of the tuition hikes unscathed. They are looking at proposed increases of 8% to 19%. The best place to be attending state college in Arizona right now may be Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. While next year's freshmen will be paying 15 percent more than this year's freshmen, they enter college locked in at a rate of $8009 for the next four years.

For more Schools.com coverage of university tuition hikes, please read:

UC fee hikes: what they mean to you