ThurmSpeaks::Cost of Education: Tuition Rates
When I became a faculty member at Scottsdale Community College during the fall of 1997, the in-state/in-county tuition rate had just been increased from $34 per credit hour to $37.Academic School Year Tuition Rate Change ------------------------------------------- 1997-98 $3 increase to $37 [+ 8.8%] 1998-99 $1 increase to $38 [+ 2.7%] 1999-00 $2 increase to $40 [+ 5.3%] 2000-01 $1 increase to $41 [+ 2.5%] 2001-02 $2 increase to $43 [+ 4.9%] 2002-03 $3 increase to $46 [+ 7.0%] 2003-04 $5 increase to $51 [+10.9%] 2004-05 $4 increase to $55 [+ 7.8%] *** TuitionGouging.US started 25 March 2005 *** 2005-06 $5 increase to $60 [+ 9.1%] 2006-07 $5 increase to $65 [+ 8.3%] 2007-08 $0 no change $65 [ 0.0%] 2008-09 $6 increase to $71 [+ 9.2%] *** TuitionGouging.US ended 4 March 2009 *** 2009-10 $0 no change $71 [ 0.0%] 2010-11 $0 no change $71 [ 0.0%]
Notes and Other Miscellany
Adjusting tuition rates based upon the Consumer Price Index does not work in the world of higher education. The CPI Inflation Calculator at BLS.gov says "$34 in 1997 has the same buying power as $46.27 in 2010." In other words, despite not increasing tuition rates for three of the last four years, the current rate of $71 is almost 35% higher than an inflation adjusted rate of $46.27. Between January of 1997 and January 2010, the MCCCD tuition rate increased by 108.8%.
Article 11/Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution 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." In a nutshell, Arizona needs to amend its constitution to clearly define what is meant by the phrase nearly free as possible.
During March of 2009 the Board of the Maricopa County Community College District voted NO to a 7% tuition rate increase request. It was during March of 2009 that I shut down the TuitionGouging.US website.
The following is a Letter to the Editor of the Arizona Republic that I submitted via an email message on 24 February 2005.To: Opinions@ArizonaRepublic.com Date: 24 February 2005 Subject: 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."
The cost of education depends on tuition rates, registration fees, course fees (which seem to be steadily increasing), program fees (which are becoming increasingly popular), cost of textbooks (which seem to be decreasing), commuting costs (which are dependent on gas prices), parking fees (which can be expensive at some universities).
Creator: Gerald Thurman
Created: 30 October 2010