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Statement from ASU President Michael M. Crow on the 2018-2019 Arizona Resident Undergraduate Tuition Proposal

March 16, 2018

President proposes no increase of tuition or class or academic program fees for resident students

Demand for an Arizona State University education has never been greater and our commitment to Arizona students has never been stronger.

Student success is at an all-time high. Retention and graduation rates for all students – but in particular for Arizona students – are at their highest levels ever.

As we continue to advance our vision of a New American University – an unparalleled focus on the simultaneous pursuit of access, excellence and impact – we proudly open our doors to all qualified Arizona residents. Consider this:

  • This year was the largest freshman class of resident students in the history of ASU or any Arizona university.
  • More than half of our Arizona undergraduate students are from families below the state’s median income.
  • We have solved the financial aid equation: Approximately 84 percent of Arizona undergraduate students, spanning every income level, receive need- or merit-based gift aid; our average gift award is approximately $8,300.
  • Arizona ranks fourth in the nation for students graduating with the lowest amount of debt; 40 percent of our resident students graduate debt-free.

These data represent years of intense focus on enhancing the performance of the university, including cost control, which has positioned ASU among the most efficient higher education institutions in the country. It costs us substantially less today to educate a student than in 2008 as a result of organizational design changes, technological innovations and an entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the entire university. Our costs are 21 percent below the average of all four-year public research universities nationwide. This is particularly meaningful when you consider that ASU is in the top 16 percent in the world for graduate employability, ahead of Penn State, Georgetown and Michigan State (Source: QS World University Rankings).

Meanwhile, the value of an ASU degree continues to rise. More than 7,000 companies scout ASU student talent every year, and blue chip companies including Apple, Ford Motor Company, Mayo Clinic and Honeywell have designated ASU a “premier university for recruiting.” And, nine out of 10 ASU graduates have received a job offer or are in graduate school within three months of graduation.

These outcomes did not happen overnight. They did not happen as a result of political pressure.

They happened as a result of the high demand for world-class university graduates from ASU and our unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality education possible at the lowest price possible.

Six years ago, I made a promise that for 10 years, resident tuition would not increase more than three percent per year. This is the seventh year of that promise and for the 2018-19 academic year, I am proposing no increase in Arizona resident undergraduate student tuition and no increase in undergraduate class or academic program fees. The university’s continuing focus on efficiency and excellence are to thank for today’s strong financial position in spite of the state’s continued lack of investment in Arizona’s students. (The Associated Students of ASU are proposing a $15 per semester increase for the student health fee that will enable the service hours at the health services center to be extended, provide students the opportunity for increased specialized medical care, allow for implementation of a Telehealth platform and provide the addition of insurance and referral navigators. I support this proposal.)

Strong economies are inextricably linked with an educated workforce and a thriving research university. We are proud to serve the state as the No. 1 choice in higher education for Arizona students while driving the economy forward by creating new knowledge and supporting existing business, social and public service enterprises. ASU is also attracting new companies and other entities to Arizona.

And we could do even more. We continue to ask legislators to invest in Arizona’s students – Arizona’s future – by providing for one half of the cost of educating resident students at the three state universities. Our profound efforts at cost cutting, efficiency, partnerships and excellence can take care of the rest. This means that the entirety of the rest of the financial life of the university can be financed by our own efforts.

But our commitment to the students of Arizona and the state of Arizona is not contingent upon that support. Whatever happens politically, Arizona State University will work tirelessly to ensure the brightest of futures for our students and our state.