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UA considers 150 new fees for courses, programs

Citizen Staff Writer



Students at the University of Arizona – and their parents – should prepare to open their wallets wider next fall, as UA is considering instituting more than 150 new program and course fees, as well as nearly $1,000 in new or increased mandatory fees for all undergraduates.

Increases to current course and program fees are also being discussed as the university deals with about $76 million in cuts to the state-funded portion of its budget this year and prepares for expected cuts next year.

The proposed fees are only under discussion, UA officials said, but a Tuition Task Force will meet Tuesday to decide if it wants to push for approval by the Arizona Board of Regents next month.

UA’s sister universities are also considering instituting a tuition surcharge, according to regents spokeswoman Andrea Smiley.

Regents approved tuition and mandatory fee increases for fall 2009 in December, bringing UA’s undergraduate in-state tuition and fee costs above $6,000 for the first time.

The efforts at the state’s three public universities are reactions to multimillion budget cuts this year and an expected minimum 10 percent cut from the state next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

“Part of our mandate had been to look at alternative ways to bring in funding through special workshops, fees or differential tuition,” said Maurice Sevigny, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “We decided against differential tuition and went with proposing fees. When we’re reducing our budget by 5, 10, 20 percent, you have to do something.”

If the proposed fees are approved, a percentage will be set aside for student financial aid, said Juan Garcia, vice president for instruction.

The fees are divided into three categories: program fees or differential tuition tied to a particular academic unit; course fees to offset things like lab supplies and field trips; and across-the board fees to help cover UA’s operating costs.

The request to develop proposals for class or program fees came from the provost’s office, but that request was prompted by regents’ approval of course fees and differential tuition at Arizona State University in December, Garcia said.

“The fiasco that happened over tuition, when ASU and NAU’s requests were approved and UA’s was denied, that sent the board into crisis mode and in the process, the regents didn’t take a careful review of what (ASU President) Michael Crow was asking with course fees and differential tuition and when it passed, that opened the opportunity for the other universities to consider fees,” Garcia said.

The Tuition Task Force meeting will also include discussion of federal stimulus money, Smiley said.

Proposed mandatory fees

for UA undergraduates,

per student, per year

$30: Academic advising

$50: Green energy initiative

$225: Student Health and Wellness fee

$575: Utilities and operating costs

Proposed mandatory fees

for UA graduate students,

per student, per year

$100: Acceptance deposit

$50: Green energy initiative

$225: Student Health and Wellness fee

$575: Utilities and operating costs

There are also increases of $10 to $95 in current mandatory fees approved in prior years by undergraduate and graduate students.

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