From the Tribune’s article regarding tuition increases at Arizona State University (“ASU seeks tuition hike to help with budget cuts,” Dec. 1): “The price of an ASU education has nearly tripled in the past 10 years” with more yet to come in the range of 10 percent to 15 percent. How disingenuous of ASU President Michael Crow to say that these increases must be a great thing because enrollment is still growing. Of course it is still increasing as the Valley’s population is increasing. Where else are our students to go? For educational opportunities we have a vastly under-served metropolitan area of nearly 4 million people and only one major university to go to for a bachelor’s degree.
Remember just a few years ago when the community colleges petitioned to be allowed to expand and offer bachelor’s programs? The “powers that be” turned them down, only to be immediately followed by a torrent of tuition increases at ASU. What a surprise! When you have a monopoly, you can charge whatever you please.
We all are aware of the critical nursing shortage in Arizona and here is Crow cutting the nursing program “to balance the budget.” In other words, give me all the money I want or you all will suffer for it.
In this recession, families of our students are working hard, some getting laid off from jobs and taking pay cuts. Many parents and young people have to get into serious debt to put their children or themselves through college, while ASU plays Robin Hood with tuition so they can buy favor from the “poor” by increasing the number of free rides through college. I think it is time for our state government, auditing agencies and our state representatives to have a closer look at ASU finances, and also to do whatever is necessary to expand the educational opportunities for our children.
Alice Slade is a Mesa resident.