Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

UA asks regents to OK increases in dorm rates

Citizen Staff Writer



Research shows that university students who live on campus are more likely to succeed academically, but that success will come at a higher cost next year if the Arizona Board of Regents approves proposed dorm rate increases at its meeting in Tempe this week.

The University of Arizona is asking to boost housing rates an average of 6.98 percent for its residence halls, with ranges from 1.12 percent to 10.78 percent.

In the past, there were five “tiers” of dorm rates, but UA is proposing collapsing those into three, with next year’s nine-month rates set at $4,799, $5,399 and $5,999 – depending on which of UA’s 21 dorms is chosen by a student.

Proposed increases for undergraduate and graduate apartments range from 3.79 percent to 7.27 percent, which will result in rents of $5,373 to $7,893 for nine months, depending on the apartment.

The increase in the cost of on-campus living is necessitated by a number of factors, including rising debt service to build two dorms and a higher overhead fee by the university, according to James Van Arsdel, UA Residence Life director.

Auxiliary units such as Residence Life support their operating costs through rental fees, but have to pay UA an overhead charge, Van Arsdel said. That fee increased from 8 percent to 9 percent this year to help UA make up for state budget cuts.

Residence Life normally pays about $3 million in administrative service charges annually, but will have to pay an additional $300,000 because of the 1 percent increase.

UA has taken about $77 million in budget cuts from the state-funded portion of their budget this year and is expecting anywhere from a 5 percent to 20 percent cut in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Regents will also consider suspending or eliminating, in fall 2010, a tuition waiver program for high school students who also score high on the AIMS test while maintaining a B-average in core courses.

Students who currently get the Regents High Honors Endorsement Award and seniors in high school who have been notified of an award will still get their waivers, said Melissa Vito, UA vice president for student affairs.

“When the program was implemented, there was no financial support that came with it,” Vito said. “In a budget climate like this, one of the issues that has come up is how much money we are spending on merit aid. No one questions the need for financial aid for our neediest students, but people are questioning how much money we spend on merit aid.”

UA gives out other merit aid awards, Vito said, but they require a higher academic standard than that of the award based on Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards.

Currently, more than 2,000 students attend UA on AIMS scholarships, at a cost of more than $10 million to the university, according to regents documents.

Vito said about 60 percent to 70 percent of students receiving AIMS waivers would qualify for other merit awards.

“Then there’s 30 (percent) to 40 percent who, based on criteria we establish for merit awards, might not have qualified,” Vito said. “But this allows each university to manage their allocation of merit money with some flexibility.”

Regents will also consider amending board policy to allow university employees on year-to-year contracts to be laid off with 90 days notice before the end of their contracts.

In addition, they will hold a study session to discuss organizational redesign and alternative delivery options for academics in light of further looming budget cuts from the state.

Two options UA officials have mentioned are increasing the number of online courses and seating undergraduate classes as large as 1,000 students in Centennial Hall.

UA asks regents to OK dorm rate increases

If you go

What: Arizona Board of Regents meeting

Where: Arizona State University Memorial Union, Tempe

When: 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Thursday; 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. Friday

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service