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Stop the student fee increases! ASA Letter to ABOR

Dear Chair Manson, Regent Duval, Regent Harbold, Regent Pachecho, Regent Goodyear,

Regent Brewster, Student Regent Kanyur and Student Regent Rees,


This past month, ASU, UArizona, and NAU have announced tuition, fee, housing, and food increases for the upcoming semester. In an effort to make higher education more accessible and affordable for all students, the below signed organizations, advocates, and elected officials ask that the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) soundly reject the increases and send our universities back to the drawing board.


WHEREAS, according to a 2022 ABOR report on food and housing insecurity, 1 in 2 NAU students do not have enough money for food. And food pantries on college campuses have increased from just 88 a decade ago to over 700 today;


WHEREAS, university administrators, such as ASU President Michael Crow, are making obscene amounts of money (base salary $809,846) from a University system that was designed to be publicly funded;


WHEREAS, the price of tuition has doubled for Arizona public university students between

2000 and 2020. And college affordability is at an all time low and student loan debt is at an all time high. Arizonans owe a collective $31.4 billion dollars in student debt;


WHEREAS, Article 11, Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution1 specifies that university instruction shall be as nearly free as possible, which was reconfirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1935 who interpreted this to mean that fees could be neither excessive nor unreasonable;


WHEREAS, the United Campus Workers of Arizona (UCW AZ) and the University Union of

Northern Arizona (UUNA), have come together to launch a state-wide petition to issue a student fee waiver for all students who work for the three public universities.

To increase tuition, fees, housing, and food costs is to make our public universities less

accessible for our Arizona families and will lead to more of our Arizona students being forced to drop out, and go hungry and or houseless in the pursuit of a better life. We ask that Arizona’s public universities create solutions to fund our academic institutions without dipping into the pockets of Arizona students (state funding, cutting administrators salaries, federal grants, etc.). For too long our public universities have gone to our students pockets, and their future earnings (student debt) to fund higher education. Affordable access to higher education is a clearly articulated right for all citizens in the state of Arizona. By increasing tuition and fees at this time our public universities stray further from their mission.


Signed:

The Arizona Students' Association


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