This BAB is Bullfoo

Another Huge Tuition Rate Increase May Be Coming

The first part of this BAB (Basic Arithmetic Bit) was written as a Letter to the Editor of the Arizona Republic. It was submitted via an email message on Thursday, 24 February 2005 a little bit past 2:00pm.

   To:  Opinions@ArizonaRepublic.com
   Re:  How do you define "gouging?"  

   There is talk that the Maricopa Community Colleges want to raise 
   tuition rates $5 per credit hour.  Five bucks... doesn't sound 
   like much given it hardly buys a decent lunch, but $5 on top of 
   the current tuition rate of $55 is almost a 9.1% increase.  Three
   years ago the Maricopa Community Colleges raised tuitions 7% 
   followed by a 10.7% increase two years ago followed by a 7.8% 
   increase last year.  Since the beginning of the 21st century, 
   prices in general have increased 9.4%, yet Maricopa Community College 
   tuition rates have climbed 34.1%.  If the Maricopa Community Colleges 
   increase tuitions another 9.1%, tuitions will be 46% higher than 
   they were during spring of 2001.  

   It must have been amended, but I found a copy of the Arizona 
   Constitution in which Article 11/Section 6 states: "The university 
   and all other state educational institutions shall be open to 
   students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be 
   as nearly free as possible."  I read this to mean tuition rates 
   are continuing to move in the wrong direction.

   A 9.1% price increase when the inflation rate is currently 
   less than 3% seems like gouging, but I guess it all depends 
   on how we define "gouging."
[update] My Letter to the Editor was published in the East Valley section of the Arizona Republic on 26 February 2005. {AzCentral.com:: 'Gouging' an education}

The following is a table that I have been maintaining since becoming an employee of Scottsdale Community College.

   Year        Extra Cost          Comment
               (30-credits)
   -----------------------------------------------------------
   1997-98     $ 90                $3 increase to $37 [+ 8.8%]
   1998-99     $ 30                $1 increase to $38 [+ 2.7%]
   1999-00     $ 60                $2 increase to $40 [+ 5.3%]
   2000-01     $ 30                $1 increase to $41 [+ 2.5%]
   2001-02     $ 60                $2 increase to $43 [+ 4.9%]
   2002-03     $ 90                $3 increase to $46 [+ 7.0%]
   2003-04     $150                $5 increase to $51 [+10.9%]
   2004-05     $120                $4 increase to $55 [+ 7.8%]
   2005-06     $150                $5 increase to $60 [+ 9.1%] {proposed}

My first semester was Fall 1997 and tuition rates were $37 per credit hour. The Fall 2005 semester may will see tuition rates at $60 per credit hour. The current (2004-05) tuition rate is $55 per credit hour.

Exercises
  1. Compute the difference between the per credit tuition rate from 2004-05 to 1997-98.
  2. Compute how much it cost to take 30 credits during 2002-03 and 30 credits during 2003-04.

  3. Compute the percentage tuition increase between Fall 1997 and Fall 2005.

  4. I'm predicting 2005-06 tuition rates will increase $3 (not $5). If this prediction holds true, tuitions will jump to $58. Compute what the percentage increase will be using my prediction and the current tuition rate of $55. [update] I predicted wrong.

  5. Let's pretend tuition rates go down $2 from the current rate of $55. Compute the percentage decrease.

Update::11 May 2005

On 01 July 2005, tuition rates at the Maricopa Community Colleges will be $60 per credit hour. The %9.1 percent increase prompted me to create TuitionGouging.US on 26 March 2005.


Creator: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 24 February 2005

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