AZ higher education: As nearly free as possible? & Update

MCCCD tuition has skyrocketed nearly 60 percent in 10 years

These are the words contained in Article 11 Section 6 of the Constitution of the state of Arizona: Section 6. Admission of students of both sexes to state educational institutions; tuition; common school system:

The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible. The legislature shall provide for a system of common schools by which a free school shall be established and maintained in every school district for at least six months in each year, which school shall be open to all pupils between the ages of six and twenty-one years.

Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is actually putting this concept into action. His proposal to provide free community college to every high school graduate starting in fall 2015, passed the House of Representatives with an overwhelming endorsement of 87 – 8 votes this past week. The state Senate had previously passed the measure known as “The Tennessee Promise.”

The plan, funded by $300 million from the state’s lottery fund, will defray the estimated annual $34 million cost. The aim of the program is boosting college graduation rates to build a more educated and skilled workforce.

Locally, the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board will vote this evening on the second tuition increase in two years —- the seventh hike in 10 years. The latest proposal is an increase of $5 per credit, or 6 percent increase to $86 per credit next year. Last year, tuition increased in the system’s 10 colleges from $76 to $81 per credit.

But the district isn’t simply content with tuition increases. It is also proposing an increase in the county property tax for the second time in two years, to be voted on in May. If approved, the dual increases would generate an additional $25.6 million for the district. Since only about 28 percent of students who began in 2007 earned a degree or occupational certificate within six years, they might consider concentrating on doing a better job retaining and actually educating students.

For the first time in memory, the Arizona Board of Regents has recently offered undergraduate students attending U of A and NAU a guaranteed tuition rate for four years.  This rate does not include fees which could still escalate costs of attendance.

According to the daily, although ASU tuition for in-state, undergraduates won’t officially go up, the university will add a $150-per-student fee to fund athletics, bringing annual tuition and fees to $10,157 a year. ASU is not participating in the guaranteed tuition plan. Graduate and out-of-state students will face higher increases at ASU. Graduate students at the school will pay 4.3 percent more, an increase to $11,283 a year, in tuition and fees.

Last March we wrote ASU’s Crow backs lower tuition for illegals — again. If you’re interested in how the astronomically paid ASU President Michael Crow dismisses Arizona students, who are being squeezed to benefit foreign nationals here illegally, it’s worth reading. 


The board approved a $3 per credit increase, which will raise $7.8 million in new revenue. The vote was 4 – 1, with board member Dana Saar voting against the imposition of an increase for the second year in a row.


7 Responses to AZ higher education: As nearly free as possible? & Update

  1. lindabent says:

    Sadly, a student now needs at least 2-4 years of college to obtain a high school education.

  2. Fed Up says:

    Anyone who able to should show up at this meeting tonight. The exclusive, no public allowed executive session begins at 5:30. We the taxpayers who fund their excesses are allowed in at 6:30 p.m.. We should never allow these elites to steamroll us and our students.

    This is the location: District Support Services Center | 2411 West 14th Street | Tempe, AZ 85281
    Governing Board Room—2nd Floor

    Here is the agenda and even the “protocol for addressing the board.”

  3. StetsonXXX says:

    Bravo to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam! What a great way to put lottery income to use!. Have any of her advisors suggested this to Gov. Brewer? She claims to be a Republican.

  4. MacBeth says:

    These are the tuition and fee figures from the  U.S. Department of Education:

    Not quite fulfilling the AZ Constitutional mandate for as “nearly free as possible.”

  5. Clementine says:

    How much is MCCCD’s Chancellor Rufus Glasper’s salary? Anyone know? Just curious given its highhanded ways.

  6. LEO IN TSN says:

    This is just another chapter in the terrible façade being played against the taxpayers of AZ, as well as students and paying parents at universities. This is exactly why the Bored of Regents wants to raise tuition rates again and again and again, as they do now (surprise).

    For an in-state non-minority student to pursue a real degree at the UofA, it costs about $7,000 per semester, including books and fees. That’s correct – thousand. Isn’t this a state grant school, created to educate AZ students and to be “as nearly free as possible?” Well, I can tell you it ain’t working that way. Now they will “freeze” the tuition at an astronomical figure as a smokescreen and jack up “fees” behind the mirrors?

    I invite everyone, state legislators especially included, to browse the UofA course/degree directories. You will be dismayed to see the absolutely meaningless courses of study that have been established to expand the University to accommodate under-qualified and under-performing “students.” And we get stuck with the bill so they can build more classrooms and hire an ever-increasing number of imbecilic leftist college professors who can’t get real jobs.

    The AZ taxpayer gets nailed, and the students and families get nailed twice. Where is the Governor’s oversight of the rogue, out-of-control Bored of Regents? Where is the fidelity to the Constitution? How about a little help out here?

    God bless America.

  7. I see the TRUTH says:

    Kinda tough to understand the realities of finance when you have never held a job outside of government…..or academia….neither one have any reality in real world – just ideals about how things SHOULD be……..we are TOAST!!

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