Tuitions Go Up and One School Gets a New Baseball Field

The following was sent as a "Letter to the Editor" of the Arizona Republic on Friday, 31 March 2006.

   To: opinions@arizonarepublic.com
   Subject: Community College Tuition Rates

   On Tuesday, 28 March 2006, the Maricopa Community Colleges 
   increased 2006-07 tuition rates by 8.33 percent and the 
   registration fee 200 percent.  During the same meeting, 
   the governing board approved funds for one of its schools 
   to build a new baseball field for its athlete students.  
   I went to a baseball game at this school once and, being
   blessed with ten fingers, was able to count attendance using 
   two hands. 

   Maricopa Community College tuition rates were $37 per credit 
   hour back in 1997.  According to a trusted inflation calculator, 
   what cost $37 in 1997 cost $43.60 in 2005, yet the 2005 tuition 
   rates were $60.  Now tuition rates are increasing 8.33 percent
   when the overall inflation rate during the last 12 months has 
   approximated 3.4 percent.  

   Here is Article 11 Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution.

   "Section 6. 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."

   When it comes to the cost of learning, it must depend on how those
   in power define the words "nearly" and "free" and "possible."

The un-named school mentioned in my letter is Scottsdale Community College.

Note I wrote "athlete students" and not "student athletes."

My letter ignored one piece of good news: the Maricopa Community Colleges have dropped the "graduation fee."

With respect to governing board voting, Jerry Walker was the only board member to vote "No" on the tuition rate increase.


The Arizona Republic printed my letter on Sunday, 2 April 2006; however, they changed "athlete students" to "student athletes."

Creator: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 01 April 2006