President Cheng presents 2021-2022 tuition and fee recommendations

Masked students sit on bench

A message from President Rita Cheng:

Northern Arizona University is pleased to present the 2021-2022 tuition and fee recommendation to the Arizona Board of Regents. Our proposal places a high priority on NAU’s mission of student access and success and the state’s goals of increasing postsecondary attainment. Our university is a critical partner in guaranteeing Arizona has the talent pipeline to succeed in the state’s New Economy. As a result of the Governor’s proposed state investment in higher education this year, which will support key program expansion at NAU to meet Arizona’s workforce needs, our 2021-2022 tuition and fee recommendation is modest and consistent with discussions on the ongoing impact the pandemic has had on our students.

Setting tuition and fee priorities requires a thoughtful balance between expanding program access and maintaining affordable options for students. Our 2021-2022 proposal features no tuition increase for undergraduate students for the second year in a row while retaining the four-year Pledge tuition guarantee for undergraduates on the Flagstaff Campus. It’s the 13th year of the Pledge program, which holds that rate consistent for a second tuition setting cycle at $11,896 for total tuition and mandatory fees for incoming resident undergraduate students on the Flagstaff campus.

While this tuition model is an ongoing priority and helps our students effectively plan for the cost of their undergraduate education in Flagstaff, our ability to continue our Pledge program with zero increases cannot be a long-term strategy. Our overall tuition structure merits review but coming out of the pandemic was not the time for an adjustment. Finally, graduate tuition, which has been below that of undergraduate on-campus tuition, will be increasing for all campus-based students, Flagstaff and statewide. This means graduate tuition for students enrolled on campus will increase 5 percent. All other tuition rates for undergraduate and graduate students will be held flat.

Additionally, in an effort to keep the total cost of attendance as low as possible, NAU proposes no mandatory fee increases for the 2021-2022 academic year. Cost reduction efforts will continue to focus on eliminating class fees.

NAU has cut the proportion of class-specific fees in half, from approximately 32 percent of all classes having fees assessed in 2015 to only 12 percent today. One new undergraduate program fee is proposed to eliminate fees paid by students in the undergraduate dental hygiene program. This program fee proposal reflects our efforts to remain transparent in our tuition and fee setting process, ensuring our students are able to leverage financial aid support for program fees, and provide resources to administer higher cost programs without shifting the costs to all students.

Thank you for your continued support of NAU. This proposal ensures NAU remains positioned to do more for Arizona’s higher educational attainment goals and workforce development, maintains the four-year tuition guarantee for undergraduates on the Flagstaff Campus, and supports our goal of providing a student-focused educational experience that emphasizes access and success.