Students call on legislators to ditch mandatory minimum tuition bill - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Notes

Students call on legislators to ditch mandatory minimum tuition bill

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Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 9:00 am | Updated: 5:28 pm, Mon Jul 2, 2012.

Students at all three Arizona public universities are calling on legislators at the Capitol to reject proposed legislation that would make it mandatory for all students to pay $2,000 a year toward school without using any public funds to cover it.

HB 2675 will make it mandatory for all students to pay $2,000 a year toward school, but without using any public or private funds to cover that amount.

This means students couldn't use grants, university scholarships, or tuition waivers to cover the amount. The only exceptions are athletic scholarships and nationally competitive scholarships.

Students say they are already saddled with a tremendous debt burden, and that total student debt has already outpaced credit card debt.

The average Arizona undergraduate left school with more than $21,000 in debt, according to the Arizona Board of Regents.

Veterans are also harmed by the legislation. Last legislative session, a bipartisan group at the Capitol passed a bill granting in-state tuition for all honorably discharged veterans, signaling what they called Arizona's commitment to educating veterans.

HB 2675 has no provision for the GI Bill and students say that gives the negative impression that Arizona isn't friendly to returning veterans seeking a higher education.

• Briefs compiled from staff and wire reports

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