Students at all three Arizona public universities are calling on legislators to reject HB2675 which makes it mandatory for all students to pay $2,000 a year toward school, but without using any public or private funds to cover this amount.
If HB2675 succeeds, students couldn’t use grants, university scholarships, or tuition waivers to cover this amount. The only exceptions for this are athletic scholarships and nationally competitive scholarships.
“The only effect this bill will have is to limit access to our public universities and stunt Arizona’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Dan Fitzgibbon, chair of the Arizona Students’ Association. “Students are already at the financial tipping point, and this bill will force many to consider leaving school or moving out of state.”
The students say that the piece of legislation stems from the myth that students don’t invest in their higher education. However the total cost of attendance in Arizona, which includes tuition, books and fees, costs an average Arizona family 37 percent of its income.
The average Arizona undergraduate left school with more than $21,000 in debt, according to the Arizona Board of Regents.
“I really can’t afford for this bill to pass,” said UA senior Sara Olivo. “I’m already graduating with mountains of loans and credit card debt, and I’ll have to reconsider if I can afford to go to college in Arizona.”
Last legislative session, a bipartisan group at the Capitol passed a bill granting in-states tuition for all honorably discharged veterans, but HB2675 has no provision for the GI Bill.