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AZ Bill HB 2675 Requires All Students Pay Minimum of $2K Tuition

An Arizona House committee passed a bill last week that would require every student at a public college in the state, regardless of economic status, to pay a minimum of $2,000 in tuition.

As Think Progress noted, nearly 100 Arizona students attended the committee hearing to speak out against the bill, HB 2675, expressing concern that it would make it more difficult for many students to afford college. Rep. Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) responded bluntly in favor of the new measure: “Welcome to life.”

Rep. Matt Heinz (D-Tucson), who voted against the bill, criticized his Republican colleague for her remarks.

“I feel these students are being greeted with open hostility,” he said.

As The Arizona Republic reported last week, the bill was sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) after hearing that nearly half of Arizona students did not pay tuition during the 2009-10 school year, whether through scholarships or need-based financial aid programs.

A staffer for the Arizona Board of Regents told the Arizona Republic last week that the “nearly half” was “an anomaly,” due to an increase in federal grants as well as that year’s tuition rates. Christine Thompson, vice president of government relations for the regents, told the paper that the figure is now closer to 25 percent.

The Arizona Board of Regents is the governing body for the state’s three public colleges as well as for the Arizona Students’ Association and has openly opposed HB 2675.

The bill will now move to the full Arizona House for a vote.

Tuition costs have just become insane! I am just not understanding why they have increased as much as they have. When I started at Purdue in 1982, my tuition was just under $800 for a full-time resident… and Purdue is a damn good school! Top-notch professors, a curriculum that far exceeds the quality of the majority private schools, and the latest and greatest in all technology. I graduated debt free. No student should be forced to graduate with upwards to being six-figures in debt. A college education is not becoming a privilege only available to the “elite.”

And the comment, “welcome to life?” I can see that Michelle Ugenti so cares about the people of Arizona and has their best interests in mind.

Source:  Huffington Post

23 Comments »

  1. I’m guessing Jackass Ugenti had a much easier road than most of her constituents.
    Hoping she gets bounced out of office and ends up having to live on subsidies.

  2. I don’t get this at all. Isn’t the whole point of grants and scholarships to reduce the cost to the student? And what difference does it make to the state if the tuition is paid by the student or by a scholarship fund, as long as it gets paid?

    Sheesh. Are there any sane, rational politicians left in this country??? (Or is my mind starting to go?)

    • I don’t get it either. Like I said, tuition was so much less when I went, and I mean less per cost of living, not amount, and I went to a damn top-notch school. So I don’t want to hear b.s. about how the colleges have to increase their tuition to keep up the quality. I wonder how much the state puts forth towards state colleges now. And sports has nearly become corporate as well and brings in a ton of money that they didn’t used to years ago.

      • The rising tuition costs are due to 2 things. 1) The federal loan program has made money accessible to pretty much everyone. The schools know how much people qualify for, so they raise their tuition accordingly. It’s like a car salesman knowing how much money you have to spend the moment you start shopping, and them also knowing there will be no shortage of customers. 2) By printing so much money our money has lost value/ purchasing power. Called the “inflation tax,” things cost more at a rate higher than they used to increase.

        • Actually, the rising tuition costs are due primarily to states failing to support their public institutions. as someone who has worked in the university system, and has a father who works for a state run university as the superintendent and researcher at an agricultural research center, we have both seen how the lack of support from the state is affecting the public university systems in our nation. when budgets need to be cut, funds for education are not just from the K-12 system, but also from the university system. As a result of the amount of money the state of Arizona took from the three major universities here in 2009/10 and 2010/11, a number of programs/colleges/schools within the university combined so that there was far fewer administration to pay, every employee took pay furlows where they weren’t being paid (I’m not just talked about people like secretaries and janitors, I”m also talking about professors and heads of programs), and the ratios of dollars spent per student dropped back to the amount spent in 1996. With all of these cuts, tuition still rose 20%, so the suffering came from both sides- university and students. Yet so few voters see the true effects their legislatures are causing they are not speaking up loud enough in terms of truly supporting our state run institutions. By continuing to allow the states to pull money from the university systems, which does force them to find money from somewhere, we are telling our future generations that we don’t care that most won’t be able to afford to get higher educations, even with grants, scholarships and loans that are currently available.

      • I know students get “student loans ” here to go to Uni and many come out owing up to £30000 because accommodation, books etc still have to be paid for… You don’t start paying back on the “loans” until you start earning over a certain amount of money ( but I forget how much that is ) Scary isn’t it !

        • Yes, very scary. To me, the high cost of education is a “sin.” No one should ever have to pay these high costs in order to become a more education and productive person in society.

  3. Student loan money is provided by the univeristies providing the education. The federal government only guarantees these loans. By minimizing exposure to potential bad debt Arizona is freeing up money to be used in other facets of government. Remember, Arizona is broke. Students are not being asked to pay more as this is not a tuition increase. Amended copies of the bill allow for the use of private loans to cover the difference. If a student choses to come out of pocket for the $1000/semester the student will see a significant reduction in monthly payments. Go to a student loan calculator online and check out the difference $8000 less in loans makes not only to monthly payments but also to total interest paid. Near as I can figure, the only reason universities are opposed to this is the fact that it denies them money earned in interest.

    • I think you need to go back and do your research about this bill. This bill is stating that students who qualify for grants and scholarships (other than merit or athletic based) will be required to pay an extra $2000 out of pocket, even if they qualify to have their full tuition covered by these grants and scholarships. The creator of the bill even stated that if they don’t have the cash readily available, they can just take out student loans, and pay for it that way. It is not a tuition increase, rather a way to force students who are currently only available to attend school through these grants and scholarships, to pay for part of their school. If this money is not used on the students for tuition, it is also not used in the university as it is money that is set aside specifically for this purpose. And to be straight, the university does not see this interest money you mention. That money goes to the provider of the loans, which is not the university, it is either private institutions (like banks) or the federal government.

  4. This stinks! My daughter is going to college on the AIMS Tuition Scholarship. She worked her behind off in HIgh School to qualify for it & now they want her to pay $2000.00 out of pocket for tuition. What kind of message does that send our high school students? Don’t worry about doing your best because it won’t do you any good! Also what about the parents with 2 or more students in college at the same time (like me)? How do they afford $2000.00 per student? I guess Arizona wants its’ students to go out of state or not get an education at all.

  5. Welcome to the real world! The US Governemnt wasted SO much of MY hard earned tax dollars, its criminal! I put myself through school and had a student loan. I drove a beater, no cell phone and worked several jobs, but it can be done! Oh, and get rid of tunure……………..

    • It is almost like the government is losing control because the people do not believe in a lot of what they’re doing, so now it’s becoming a matter of knee-jerk reactions. And sometimes, new bills and laws just are not the answer – especially when there are no absolutes in the problem.

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