NAU makes tuition recommendations; most Flagstaff students to see no increase

Northern Arizona University has recommended modest tuition rates to the Arizona Board of Regents for the 2011-12 academic year with 63 percent of current Flagstaff undergraduates seeing no tuition increase.

President John Haeger announced the proposed tuition and mandatory fee structure Friday morning for undergraduate and graduate students on the Flagstaff campus, NAU-Yavapai, NAU-Yuma and Extended Campus sites around the state.

“Northern Arizona University continues to deliver a high-quality education to our students, and with nearly $60 million in cuts from state funding in the last four years, we are forced to rely more than ever on student support,” Haeger said. “With careful fiscal management, we were able to request very modest increases this year, maintain fixed tuition rates for a majority of undergraduates and continue to offer the best value in higher education in the state.”

NAU’s Pledge program, offered to undergraduate students at the Flagstaff campus since 2008, freezes tuition rates for eight semesters. It provides a predictable cost for students and parents while giving students an added incentive to finish in four years.

“Because we’ve been anticipating the FY12 cliff and the end of stimulus funds, NAU is able to retain the Pledge program, pending the approval of the regents,” Haeger said. “We understand the value of predictability for students and parents planning for their future.”

Students and parents have spoken favorably about the Pledge program and have cited it as the motivating factor for choosing NAU, along with its outstanding programs. Haeger also has credited the program for NAU’s multiyear record-breaking enrollment gains.

For students at the Flagstaff campus who are not on the Pledge, Haeger has made the following annual tuition rate recommendations:

  • Continuing resident non-Pledge undergraduate students: $6,547, an increase of $197
  • New resident undergraduate students (guaranteed for four years): $8,009, up $1,045
  • Resident graduate students: $7,190, an increase of $464
  • Continuing non-resident, non-Pledge undergraduate students: $17,445, up $384
  • New non-resident undergraduate students (guaranteed for four years): $20,364, an increase of $1,000
  • Non-resident graduate students:$18,093, up $593

Haeger pointed to NAU’s Extended Campuses, NAU-Yuma and NAU-Yavapai as part of the university’s effort to increase access to higher education in the state, and key to NAU’s cost reduction strategy that benefits more than 7,500 students each year.

Students typically pay lower tuition rates at Extended Campus sites than at the residential and research campus in Flagstaff, and the following annual, increases have been recommended:

  • NAU-Yuma and Extended Campus sites:
    • Resident undergraduate students: $6,112, up $184
    • Resident graduate students: $7,190, an increase of $464
    • Non-resident undergraduate students: $17,445, up $384
    • Non-resident graduate students: $18,093, an increase of $593
  • NAU-Yavapai:
    • Resident undergraduate students: $4,613, up $300
    • Non-resident undergraduate students: $14,093, an increase of $393

Seventeen percent of tuition is used for need-based financial aid.

Tuition recommendations also are accompanied by mandatory fees, which vary by campus.

All full-time Flagstaff students—including those on the Pledge program—will see a fee increase of $112 to $119 for a continuing student-approved Health and Wellness Fee, which provides physical and mental health care, and state-mandated Financial Aid Trust Fee supporting students with financial need. Haeger also has recommended a $100 fee for the next academic year for students participating in the Honors Program.

NAU-Yuma, NAU-Yavapai and Extended Campus full-time students will see a fee increase of $2 to $13 to support the Financial Aid Trust Fee.

A breakdown of fees is available online.

With the state budget for the next fiscal year still under discussion, Northern Arizona University is anticipating a shortfall of at least $25.8 million in funding as proposed by Gov. Jan Brewer. Amid such challenges, Haeger said the university will continue to identify efficiencies, increase access and maintain affordability while preserving quality.

“The state government is slowly de-investing in education and driving us toward functioning like a private institution,” Haeger said. “Through collaboration with other institutions and innovative education delivery methods, we are redesigning the way higher education operates now and for the future.”