NAU maintains Pledge guaranteed tuition program despite $17.3M state budget cut

The University Union

Northern Arizona University’s Pledge program will continue to keep tuition stable for undergraduate students currently on the eight-semester plan, which accounts for 96 percent of Flagstaff undergraduates.

“As part of a strategy to maintain a sound financial model in the face of severe state budget cuts, actions are being taken across the university to allow us to stay committed to our guaranteed tuition program and stay true to our goals and values as an institution,” said NAU President Rita Cheng.

If approved, total tuition and mandatory fees for incoming resident undergraduate students starting at the Flagstaff campus in fall 2015 would be $10,358. The base tuition rate of $9,462 will be guaranteed for four years. Students and parents have shown strong support for NAU’s Pledge program, which provides predictability for families and encourages students to develop four-year degree plans with graduation as their ultimate goal.

Public tuition discussion scheduled

Northern Arizona University will hold an interactive tuition hearing via videoconference in conjunction with the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 20.

The NAU hearing will be conducted in Flagstaff in the Extended Campuses building, 16A, in the True Blue room, and in Yuma at Arizona Western College, Academic Complex, AC Room 111. The hearing also will be streamed online. Locations for UA and ASU are available here.

Regents also will accept comments via e-mail to the Arizona Board of Regents at; by regular mail, at 2020 N. Central Ave., Suite 230, Phoenix, AZ 85004; or by fax at (602) 229-2555.

An interactive public forum has been scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, to discuss the tuition recommendations made by the three state universities. The Arizona Board of Regents will vote on tuition May 4.

For graduate students, NAU will seek an increase of 4.8 percent for residents and 4.9 percent for nonresidents. Incoming undergraduate resident students at NAU-Yuma and NAU-Yavapai, as well as those at Extended Campus sites and in online programs, also will see increases but continue to have tuition rates significantly below the Flagstaff campus.

The cost of NAU’s Personalized Learning will remain the same. The innovative online program charges a flat fee of $2,500 per six-month period.

In an effort to mitigate the impact of state budget cuts to NAU students, no new course fees are being proposed and the only program fee increase being sought is to the Physician Assistant program in downtown Phoenix. The program fee is necessary to maintain a high-quality educational experience and continue to move this program to a self-sustaining model as originally envisioned when it was developed in 2011 amid state budget challenges.

NAU continues to develop a fiscal year 2016 operating budget that will prioritize the core educational mission of the university, all within the reduced state appropriation. The new tuition rates are anticipated to generate $4.9 million, which reflects the difference between the governor’s original university budget reduction and the final budget adopted by the state. NAU is developing budget reduction principles to guide decisions for the remaining $12.4 million it must reduce from its operating budget while educating more students and meeting 2020 ABOR performance goals. NAU’s commitment to students remains strong, and its $1.5 billion contribution to the economic recovery of Arizona is undeniable as evidenced by the 2015 economic impact study released by the university.

NAU’s tuition proposal including mandatory fees:

Flagstaff campus

  • New resident undergraduate students: $10,358
  • New nonresident undergraduate students: $23,348
  • Resident graduate students: $9,606 ($441 increase)
  • Nonresident graduate students: $21,244 ($995 increase)
  • Western Undergraduate Exchange Program students: $15,089 ($540 increase)


  • Resident undergraduate students: $7,178 ($276 increase)
  • Nonresident undergraduate students: $19,704 ($950 increase)

Extended Campus sites (including online)

  • Resident undergraduate students: $7,314 ($282 increase)
  • Nonresident undergraduate students: $19,706 ($952 increase)
  • Resident graduate students: $8,996 ($442 increase)
  • Nonresident graduate students: $20,634 ($996 increase)

Personalized Learning (per six-month period)

  • Personalized Learning: $2,500 (no change)


  • Resident undergraduate students: $5,562 ($217 increase)
  • Nonresident undergraduate students: $15,924 ($771 increase)

Mandatory fees (per academic year)

  • Information Technology Fee: $9/credit hour up to 24 credits per year ($1/credit hour increase)

Graduate program fees (per academic year)

  • Physician Assistant: $13,000 ($2,000 increase)