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UA proposes $1,100 ‘economic recovery’ charge

University of Arizona students will have to pay an “economic recovery surcharge” of $1,100 next fall if a plan released Friday by UA leaders is approved by the Arizona Board of Regents later this month.

UA President Robert N. Shelton said in an all-campus memo that the temporary tuition hike is needed to make up the gap between budget shortfalls and the “university’s needed revenues to sustain quality.”

It will apply to all students equally, regardless of academic or residency status, and be reviewed on an annual basis, Johnny Cruz, UA spokesman, said.

The surcharge is considered a temporary fix to the economic woes at UA and is dependent on the anticipated infusion of federal dollars to Arizona from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Regents’ experts anticipate that the state’s three public universities, which have sustained $141 million in state cuts this academic year, could get up to $300 million over two years to “backfill” cuts from the state.

The surcharge will be in addition to next year’s tuition, which was raised in December nearly 10 percent, bringing the tuition and fees package for in-state undergraduates to more than $6,000.

Arizona State University is proposing a $1,200 annual surcharge, estimating that it will be in effect for at least two years, and Northern Arizona University is proposing a $350 annual surcharge. NAU and ASU also are proposing additional fees of about $80 annually.

UA also is proposing a “mid-year increase” in tuition for students at the College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, as well as nursing students.

For medical students the tuition increase would range from $1,450 to $3,420, bringing all students to a uniform tuition of $21,618, not including existing fees.

Current College of Nursing students would be assessed a differential tuition hike, based on the type of program they are in, with ranges from $1,200 to $5,200 per academic year.

New students in UA’s accelerated nursing degree program would be charged a comprehensive program fee of $28,000 for the 14-month program.

A tuition hearing will be held at 5 p.m. April 20 to give the public a chance to respond to the proposals before they go to the regents for a vote on April 30. The location for the hearing hasn’t been determined, Cruz said.

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