It’s no longer a theory, it’s really happening. More and more data is showing steep declines in college enrollments. The leading factor in this plunge is quite simple: college is perpetually becoming more and more unattainable for Americans because of the hefty price tag attached. And while colleges across the country vowed against raising tuition during the pandemic, it appears the golden days were short-lived, as more colleges report plans to raise costs next year. Joining the list is Arizona state university’s, as the board that oversees them just approved tuition increases for the upcoming fall semester.
The Arizona Board of Regents that oversees The Copper State’s three public universities, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University, were officially approved in a plea for raising tuition next fall, according to reports from the Associated Press. Touted as an authorization for “modest” tuition increases, the approval will see hikes for state residents and a larger boost for out-of-state residents. The percentages might seem small, but they surely won’t be viewed that way by the students that need to shell out the extra cash next year.
Arizona State University is raising tuition rates for in-state students by 2.5% Non-residents will now pay 4% more, and international students will be charged 5% more than previously. This brings the average in-state resident tuition totals to nearly $11 thousand for undergrads and a little more than $12 thousand for graduate students per year.
The good news is that both the Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona stuck with a previous pledge against raising tuition costs for current four-year undergraduate students. But unfortunately, newly enrolled freshmen will bear the burden of shelling out more money. Incoming freshman tuition costs will be increased by 3.5%. This leaves the university’s yearly tuition fee’s a little over $11 thousand as well. The University of Arizona dished out the smallest hike, raising tuition by 2%. This brings its tuition fee to $11,525, or $12,348 per year for Graduate students.
The board didn’t stop with only raising tuition prices at the Universities. They also approved increases in other fees at all three high ed facilities. Keeping with similar inflations, they also raised housing costs by 3 to 3.5%.
Already a hefty chunk of the entire bill footed over to colleges, housing plans at NAU range from $6 to $8 thousand a year. Within ASU, housing expenses start at over $10 thousand a year. The UofA charges students anywhere from $6,400 to well above $10,000. To make matters worse, raising tuition and housing wasn’t the only thing approved in the price hikes. Meal plans at each college will similarly see the increases. Meal plans will now cost students a price tag ranging from $5 to $6 thousand a year or more.
It’s a peculiar move from the Arizona board of regents to enact raising tuition approvals. In 2020, the board reported bleak news about the state of high ed within Arizona. Significantly trailing behind the national average, less than half of all Arizona high school graduates enrolled in a two or four-year college in 2020. It was a noticeable decline from the year before. With neighboring states like New Mexico now looking to make college free for residents in an effort to boost enrollment, it’s surely a head-scratcher.