To help ensure the university remains positioned to meet Arizona’s higher educational attainment goals and workforce development, Northern Arizona University is proposing the lowest tuition increase in the history of the Pledge guaranteed tuition program. The proposal, released today, also ensures that 98 percent of continuing undergraduate students on NAU’s Flagstaff campus will not experience a tuition increase.
“Keeping college education affordable is a priority for our university and that’s why eleven years ago, we implemented Arizona’s first guaranteed tuition program—the NAU Pledge Program,” NAU President Rita Cheng said. “We continue to provide predictability for undergraduates on the Flagstaff campus by guaranteeing their tuition rate for four years.”
Increases to the NAU Pledge Program have fluctuated from a high of 18.4 percent in 2010 to a low of 2.8 percent in 2015. The Pledge tuition proposal for the 2019-20 academic year is the lowest increase ever at 2.5 percent, which directly benefits Arizona students and the state.
True to its mission, NAU continues to be an institution serving Arizona residents with approximately 67 percent of students coming from high schools and community colleges throughout the state. Over the past decade, NAU’s student population has diversified to reflect the state’s population and to meet Arizona’s educational attainment goals, which seeks to increase the population of Arizonans with a post-secondary credential or degree. This is represented in the increase of first-generation college students at NAU, who now make up approximately 40 percent of NAU’s freshman class.
For the fourth year in a row, NAU is proposing to eliminate class fees as a continuation of the commitment to cost containment and transparency. This year’s proposal will eliminate more than 250 class fees, which amounts to more than a quarter of all current class fees.
“I am proud that we developed this tuition proposal around our goals of student success,” Cheng said. “We recognize that tuition is an important factor at every step of the student experience, and we are proud to offer tuition options and delivery models that meet a variety of student needs, including another round of changes to reduce the number of fees, eliminating over 575 class fees in the past four years.”
A number of NAU programs are proposing to implement or adjust existing program fees. NAU is removing class fees in the programs so the incremental impact to the student is minimized. Changing to programs fees from class fees also will allow students to leverage additional financial aid.
Addressing needs expressed by students, faculty and staff, the university is proposing two mandatory fee increases: a $25 per semester increase to the Health and Learning Center fee for mental health counseling and a $10 per semester increase in the Green fee for campus sustainability projects.
“Our mission at NAU is first and foremost the success of our students, and everyone has a part to play in helping support students’ mental health,” Cheng said. “The proposed fee increase to the Health and Learning Center fee will provide NAU’s Campus Health Services the resources needed to increase mental health counseling and support services for students. The proposed $10 increase in the Green fee will ensure NAU continues to lead in sustainability efforts by funding partnership projects on campus.”
Working to keep tuition as low as possible, fall tuition for incoming undergraduates and all graduate students includes a moderate increase. The adjustments proposed for NAU-Yavapai’s tuition rates reflect that Yavapai programs are no longer operating in alternative ways from other NAU statewide sites and aligns all statewide campus tuition rates. The proposed NAU-Yavapai tuition increases for undergraduate students will only affect incoming students—the rate current undergraduate students pay will not change.
If approved, total tuition and mandatory fees for incoming resident undergraduate students starting on the Flagstaff campus in fall 2019 would be $11,896, with the base tuition guaranteed for four years. The average tuition paid by an Arizona resident student at NAU, after financial aid, is less than $2,700 a year.
“Cost is a key component of accessibility, and through this proposal, Northern Arizona University remains accessible to students, in turn increasing access to higher education that ensures Arizona can meet its educational and economic goals,” Cheng said.
The Arizona Board of Regents will consider all three universities’ tuition and fee proposals during its meeting April 11 at the University of Arizona.
NAU Statewide including Yuma
Public tuition hearing 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. April 2.
The NAU hearing will be conducted in Flagstaff in Babbitt Administration Center, Room 206, and in Yuma at NAU Yuma’s Academic Complex (AC), Room 111. The hearing also will be streamed online.
Regents will accept comments via e-mail to the Arizona Board of Regents at firstname.lastname@example.org; by regular mail, at 2020 N. Central Ave., Suite 230, Phoenix, AZ 85004; or by fax at (602) 229-2555.