The Arizona Board of Regents has approved the University of Arizona's tuition proposal for 2013-14, sharply reducing overall tuition for law students and modestly increasing base tuition for undergraduate, graduate and medical students.
Overall tuition for Arizona residents in the James E. Rogers College of Law Juris Doctor program will decrease by about 11 percent, to $24,381 next academic year from $27,288 this year. Non-resident students will see an approximate 8 percent decrease, to $38,841 from $42,298. Overall tuition includes base graduate tuition and mandatory fees, plus differential tuition.
The tuition decrease is possible because new non-Juris Doctor, or JD, programs will diversify the student population and produce additional income. Lowering tuition is part of the college's larger plan to help students manage law school costs.
About 80 percent of students in the JD program receive financial aid awards from the college – a higher percentage than most other law schools. "We believe that the tuition reduction will improve accessibility and allow our students to graduate with less debt," the UA wrote in supporting material to the regents.
Other UA students, including medical students, will see an approximate 3 percent increase in base tuition and mandatory fees, which is necessary for the UA to meet its local, institutional and ABOR-mandated goals. The proposal was developed in consultation with undergraduate and graduate leadership and reflects their feedback and priorities.
Resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for the main campus will be $10,391 for 2013-14, up from $10,035 in 2012-13. For non-residents, tuition and fees will be $27,073, up from $26,231. At UA South, resident undergraduates will pay $8,166, up from $7,941, and non-residents will pay $26,570, up from $25,808.
For resident graduate students on the main campus, tuition and fees will be $11,511, up from $11,122, and $27,383, up from $26,533, for non-residents. At UA South, resident graduate students will pay $10,690, up from $10,390, and non-residents would pay $26,880, up from $26,110.
ABOR also approved an $80 per year increase in the mandatory library technology fee for students on the main campus.
Tuition revenue generated by the increase will support key initiatives including the retention and graduation of students, seeding research, making engagement experiences possible for all students, online and alternative educational delivery, the retention and recruitment of faculty and attending to critical life, safety and code building repairs.
The increase in tuition revenue will preserve student access to educational resources and lead to success through investments in financial aid, greater course availability and new sources of academic support. In the 2012 fiscal year, the UA invested more than $168 million in financial aid.
For students in the College of Medicine-Tucson and the College of Medicine-Phoenix, tuition will increase to $28,686 for residents and $47,861 for non-residents. The modest increase will allow the colleges to offset state reductions with minimal impact to the educational experience.
The colleges are the state's only providers of allopathic medical education, with more than 650 students enrolled.
The board also set residence hall rates for 2013-14. On average, rates for undergraduate housing will increase by about 2 percent. Nine-month rates for undergraduate residence halls will range from $5,519 to $7,679, depending on the hall. Graduate housing rates will not increase.
State budget cuts suffered by the UA – more than $180 million since 2008 – are unprecedented and well-documented. Adjusted for the Consumer Price Index, per-student funding for the UA is at its lowest level since 1967.
Despite these sharp cuts, the UA has been achieving distinctions never before seen in its history. For the first time this academic year, overall enrollment topped 40,000. Retention and graduation rates are up, as is the number of baccalaureate degrees conferred.
To replace lost state funding, the UA is diversifying the variety and size of its revenue streams and is undertaking projects to optimize its efficiency. The UA is completing a comprehensive, campus-wide strategic planning process that will directly tie the University's strategic plan to measurable goals, metrics and financial modeling.