Arizona university students and some legislators may think that putting a lid on tuition is a great idea, but the Board of Regents doesn’t.
The board responded Friday to state legislators’ demands to study possible outcomes for limiting tuition for continuing students to no more than inflation.
The board, which regulates the three state universities, unanimously approved a study on the issue, compiled by regents’ officials and university representatives, sending it to the Legislature for consideration.
Regents and universities said they would prefer to have leeway to set tuition as needed. They cited several reasons for needing flexibility, such as skyrocketing enrollments, state funding cuts, and larger salary offers to invite faculty and staff to fill vacancies or remain at the universities.
Surveys show that compared with other state university systems, Arizona’s average tuition and fees are among the lowest in the country — with the University of Arizona ranked 40th, Arizona State University-Tempe 41st, and Northern Arizona University 42nd.
Arizona law requires the Board of Regents and universities to keep the cost of higher education affordable. Recent tuition increases have raised concerns among some legislators that the tuition system, set by the regents, needs revamping