Regents OK tuition, ‘rebate’ for incoming Pledge students

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the universities’ tuition and rate proposals in a marathon session Thursday in Tucson that included more than six hours of discussion and debate.

The decision came shortly after the announcement that Gov. Jan Brewer had signed the state budget for FY2012 as delivered by the Legislature last Friday. The budget outlines cuts of $198 million to the university system, amounting to a $30 million cut for Northern Arizona University.

Northern Arizona University was granted its tuition recommendation with a compulsory one-time rebate of $350 only for Flagstaff resident undergraduates beginning as freshman this fall. The fee is expected to amount to more than $1 million taken from the $7 million in reserve funds the university had committed to offset the $30 million cut in its state funding.

Current NAU students on the Pledge, which accounts for 63 percent of the Flagstaff continuing undergraduates, are not affected by tuition increases and will not receive rebates.

The rebate, which also was passed for the University of Arizona at $750 for undergraduate students, is intended to offset the increase in tuition.

Graduate tuition rates also were approved as proposed for all three universities.

NAU’s proposed mandatory fee of $100 for the honors program was approved as submitted.

After resuming discussions on Friday morning, the board approved NAU residence hall annual rates at a 2.99 percent increase in student housing and 2.07 percent increase for family housing on the Flagstaff campus. Upon request from the board, the rates were reduced from the proposed 3.5 percent, or $158, for student housing and 2.1 percent, $16, for family housing. An increase of $161, or 4.6 percent, was approved for annual meal plans.

Also approved were ground lease agreements between NAU and American Campus Communities to build and operate two new residence halls that will add up to 1,126 beds to on-campus housing for Flagstaff students.

In final business, board officers were elected for next year, with Fred DuVal assuming the role of chair and Bob McClendon as vice chair, LuAnn Leonard as secretary and Mark Killian as treasurer beginning July 1.