The Arizona State Legislature proposes a bill that will require each in-state university student receiving financial aid to pay a minimum of $2,000 out-of-pocket annually.
Rep Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, is sponsoring HB 2675 that will force full-time students to pay at least $2000 a year without the assistance of the university or university affiliates.
Kavanagh said that this bill was inspired after learning that 48 percent of students at ASU had their tuition completely paid by university grants and scholarships.
Kavanagh refers to these subsidies as “unearned tuition subsidies.”
“I am amazed that my attempt to have students who have not earned
scholarships owing to either academic or athletic accomplishment has met
such resistance,” said, Kavanagh
Kavanagh went on to say, “In these troubled economic times, it is unfair to taxpayers to give away university education free...”
HB 2675 states, “A student may not use any other source of public or private funding, including grants, gifts, scholarships or tuition benefits or other types of funding administered by or through a university or an affiliate of a university, to reduce or eliminate that student’s contribution.”
Students awarded athletic scholarships who remain in good standing and recipients of merit scholarships, based solely on academic merit, special aptitude, talent, or ability, will not be required to pay the minimum contribution. This exemption is limited to no more than 5 percent of students who enroll for the first time as undergraduates at state universities.
Kavanagh said by restricting the subsidies will save the university $18 million that they can then use to improve the university as a whole.
Whether the $18 million savings saved will be regulated to help students, will be up to the university to decide, Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh went on to say that subsidies create unintended and perverse incentives that lure many students needing more academic preparation away from their local community college to the universities.
“Free tuition works well when the recipient earns it but carries a high-unseen cost, when dispensed to others,” said Kavanagh; “… the sooner student's learn this, the better off they, the taxpayers and the universities will be,”
Profound linguistic expert, Dr. Noam Chomsky discussed the decrease in subsidies for students at public universities while speaking at The University of Arizona on Feb 8th. He said that funding issues for universities would not be a problem if public good was a priority.
Chomsky went on to discuss the idea that educating the underprivileged creates a threat for the 1 percent. He also said increasing tuition for students creates larger debt and limited options for graduates.
The bill passed the appropriations committee and now goes to the full house for a vote.