Tag Archives: Tuition

Arizona State University of Starbucks

On Monday, Starbucks announced that it was launching a new program through which it will help many of its employees pay for undergraduate education at Arizona State University’s ASU Online program. Here are some of the details of how it would work:

Tuition for an online degree at ASU is about $10,000 a year, roughly the same for its traditional educational programs. For the freshmen and sophomore years, Starbucks and Arizona State say they will put around $6,500 on average toward the estimated $20,000 in total tuition.

To cover the remaining $13,500, workers would apply for financial aid. Since Starbucks workers don’t earn a lot of money, many would likely qualify for a Pell grant, said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of EdVisors.com, a website about paying for college. If a worker qualified for a full Pell grant of $5,730 a year — or $11,460 over the two years — he or she would theoretically be left with about $2,040 to pay out of pocket.

The program would work similarly for the junior and senior years, except that Starbucks would reimburse any money workers end up having to pay out of pocket. Starbucks said most of its workers have already started school, so could potentially finish off their degrees at no cost if they applied for the program.

At first, it piqued my interest to hear that ASU was involved in such a project. ASU has long been involved in efforts that purport to expand access to quality university education, but has also engaged in moves that collapse schools and programs (which eliminates jobs and takes power away from faculty), demote staff to the status of at-will employees, and continually raise tuition.

But agreeing to pay for employees’ education is a good move, even if it does nothing to salvage the crisis of public education. And yet there are hidden aspects of this deal that are important to shed light on. Firstly, the program hopes to offer a diverse education to Starbucks employees, but having the selection of majors offered at one university’s online wing is actually quite narrow. As this piece finds, even the students featured in an NYT article about the program may not actually be able to study what they want.

In addition, online-only education is not a tried-and-true provider of education, especially for working students who have not been exposed to higher education before. Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of education policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, linked to this 2011 study [pdf] on online education and its effectiveness for low-income and underprepared students by Shanna Smith Jaggers. In short, online classes saw more low-income and underprepared students withdraw, and many of these students were less likely to return to continue their education. Learning online is as much of a learned skill as learning in the classroom, only online degrees and courses often come with less support for students. I took at least four online classes while at ASU, and only one was as rigorous as in-person courses and provided similar levels of support.

But the more important point here is that Starbucks employees are not being offered free education at Arizona State University, my alma mater and an arguably decent school from which to earn a Bachelor’s. The Starbucks program funnels workers through ASU Online, a joint-venture between ASU and Pearson, the for-profit publishing and ed tech company. The venture overcharges online students, students who may be receiving less support and less freedom in their studies and cost the university less money, but who pay roughly the same tuition as on-campus students. As one article mentions:

Arizona State University Online, a revenue-sharing relationship between Pearson, a for-profit company best known as a publisher, and Arizona State University (ASU), yielded $6 million in profit in 2011 for ASU. Projections are that it will yield $200 million in profit by 2020. Many other non-profit colleges with large online programs tout the substantial profits generated by online programs that are re-invested in on-ground facilities. Thus, online students are being substantially overcharged to generate profits that subsidize face-to-face learners, faculty and administrators.

This type of revenue-sharing happens a lot at universities between departments (the humanities often subsidize the sciences), but the inclusion of a for-profit company makes this deal smell of something far worse. Pearson has long-been a part of the ed reform movement, standardizing and assessing real education into oblivion. That it operates as a “partner” in ASU Online is a shame and a sign of how the top echelons at ASU view education.

This agreement between ASU and Starbucks is supposed to be about providing free education to lower class workers. But according to Starbucks CEO, about 70% of Starbucks workers are current in college or aspire to go. These students, working at Starbucks across the country, will now have to transfer to ASU Online if they want to take advantage of their employers’ benefits – and Starbucks is eliminating its tuition reimbursement program for the City University of Seattle and Stayer University next year in order to commit to the ASU Online endeavor.

As Melissa Byrne points out, this is mostly as PR stunt for Starbucks, whose executives have come straight out and said that they hope this will attract a better class of workers. And ASU hopes to continue to expand its growing online presence and push President Michael Crow’s “New American University” vision one step further. For many of Starbucks’ workers, this program will expand access, but access to what? And what will happen when they fail to finish because they were pushed into a program that was ill-suited for them?

Update: Be sure to check out Tressie McMillan Cottom’s piece on this, in which she links ASU-Starbucks endeavor to what for-profit universities have been doing for decades.

Arizona Universities Increased In-State Tuition More Than Any Other State

Remember this post I wrote in March about Arizona universities and their recent trend of tuition hikes? A decade a go tuition at all three four-year universities in Arizona hovered around $3,000, but since then it has risen dramatically – I was paying around $5,000 from 2007-2011, and this year’s freshmen class are paying $10,000.

I was upset by the trend that Arizona universities were following, but I had no idea that they far out-paced the rest of the country’s public universities. An article in the State Press highlighted a recent report from College Board, stating:

Arizona’s four-year public universities had the nation’s largest in-state tuition and fees increase over the past five years, according the nonprofit organization that oversees the SAT.

The College Board’s report said in-state tuition and fees in Arizona increased 70 percent when adjusted for inflation from academic year 2008-09 to 2013-14. The national average was 27 percent.

Out-of-state tuition and fees in Arizona increased 28 percent during the same period, 11th highest in the nation. Louisiana, which had a 69 percent increase, was highest. The national average was 19 percent.

When the state gutted public funding to the state universities, the burden of funding education fell on Arizonans – people whose families had already contributed to the universities through taxes. And, as usually happens when I comment on Arizona’s tuition woes, I want to remind everyone that the state constitution says that higher education is supposed to be as free as possible.  Just this week, friends of the blog Aaron Bady and Angus Johnston both wrote about the prospect of free higher education. This shouldn’t be a fantasy – higher education was once affordable to most, and it can be again.

Arizona Universities Keep Hiking Tuition

On Friday I saw two pieces of jarring news: that tuition at Arizona universities had gone up 96% since 2007, the year I started my undergrad at ASU; also, that tuition has increased in 18 of the last 20 years. Tuition hikes were a frequent and terrible thing while I was a Sun Devil – in short span the state government cut the $1 billion higher ed budget in half. I was privileged enough that my parents had agreed to help me with my tuition, but I knew a lot of people who worked all semester long in order to pay for the next semester – and each year that got harder.

And yet, I never stopped to think about how rapid the change between 2007 and 2011 was compared to years prior. Anne Ryman, who covers higher education for the Arizona Republic, sent me this link [pdf] on tuition over the last 20 years. The shift in the scale of tuition hikes is pretty dramatic, so I decided to graph it out. The result is not a happy one:

azbor tuition

And I’m not 100% sure if this data includes university-imposed fees – which fall outside of what the Arizona Board of Regents approves. when I started high school in 2003 the tuition hikes had just begun in earnest – they stood at $3,593, and when I started at ASU it was a few dollars shy of $5000. When I finished my student teaching and graduated in 2011 it was $9,716 for the seniors that I had taught. And subsequent freshmen continue to pay more and more.

On Friday, the university presidents issued their proposals for next year’s tuition. Arizona State is proposing a 3% increase which will bring it within a stone’s throw of $10,000 – touting the small increase as the lowest in the past decade. The University of Arizona proposed the same percentage (they’re already above $10,000), and Northern Arizona University asked for 5%. If these are all approved, the three universities in Arizona will be over or dangerously close to $10,000 tuition a year. With that in mind, if you take a glance at Article 11, Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution, you will see the words: “The university and all other state educational institutions… shall be as nearly free as possible.”

Rejecting the University

Higher education is in a rocky place, you may have heard. More and more, colleges are placing the burden of cost on their students, raising tuition in astronomical amounts. Increasingly, public colleges are recruiting out-of-state students (who pay higher tuition), abandoning their mandate to educate the citizens of their state at low cost. Departments are absorbing each other – or closing completely – and new PhDs are becoming adjuncts rather than tenured, all while new vice presidents are hired and massive buildings are erected. Colleges are increasingly exclusive and costly, and they are continuing to move away from the purpose of educating young minds.

In the 2006 film Accepted, Bartelby Gaines, a high school graduate who failed to get into eight colleges, decides to start his own fake college to fool his parents. An entrepreneur by nature, he takes the ruse all the way: renting out an abandoned psychiatric hospital to serve as a college facade. The plan blows up as other people apply and end up enrolling in the institution that Gaines decides to run. There are two questions worth exploring when watching this movie: what problems does the film have with academia? And what does it really take to run a college?

Reject rejection – and all the exclusivity, cost, and waste that it symbolizes.

When Bartleby tells his parents he didn’t get into any colleges, he spins it by telling them that it is fiscally irresponsible for him to go to college. “We could spend $80,000 over the next four years, or I could make $80,000 over the next four years.” And it’s true – college is expensive and the cost is difficult to bear for many. Regardless, his parents are irate. “Society has rules,” his father argues, “first rule is you go to college. If you want to have a happy, successful life, you go to college. If you want to be somebody, you go to college. If you want to fit in, you go to college.” College is a social need above all else.

When Bartleby hatches the plan to mail himself a fake admissions letter – to the South Harmon Institute of Technology – he is joined by a cast of conspirators who help him renovate the hospital in preparation for his parents’ visit to school. What ensues is a glimpse into what the film accuses academia of doing wrong – and what the film views as education’s purpose.

When the Gaines family meets with the Dean of the college, a former professor recently fired from a job at the mall, he lambastes the entire notion of higher education. “A lot of people say that college is the time when young men and women expand the way that they look at their world, when they open their minds to new ideas and experiences, and when they begin that long journey from the innocence of youth to the responsibilities of adulthood. Now isn’t that a load of horseshit?”  When pushed on the view, he describes the school’s philosophy: “We throw a lot of fancy words in front of these kids, in order to attract them to go to this school, in the belief that they’re going to have a better life. And we all know that all we’re doing is breeding a whole new generation of buyers and sellers,  pimps and whores, and indoctrinating them into a lifelong hell of debt and indecision.” When the family is left speechless, he continues: “Do I have to spoon-feed it to you? There’s only one reason that kids want to go to school: to get a good job. To get a good job with a great starting salary.”

The uncomfortable silence is, naturally, broken by mom’s comment that it is “so refreshing to hear someone approach education so rationally.”

There’s a rejection of college’s enlightening promise, seeing the process of higher education as merely feeding capitalism.  And the parents gobble it up because that’s how more and more people are viewing education now.  The learning isn’t important, it’s the degree that will give you a well-paying job. It echoes all the parents that harp on their English-major sons and Philosophy-major daughters and praise the niece that’s pre-med or the neighbor’s kid that’s getting an MBA. It’s all around us, and it’s not just our families feeding it to us. Our school administrations and our politicians agree. More and more, university administrators are advocating for more “professional” degrees rather than traditional academic ones. When Florida Governor Rick Scott advocated shifting state funds from humanities and social sciences towards science and technology, he referenced anthropology majors when he argued, “we don’t need them here.” This mentality is everywhere. Even South Harmon’s new fake dean spouts it to degree-hungry parents.

How strange, then, that South Harmon Institute of Technology seemingly rejects the shit out of this notion. When faced with over a hundred newly accepted students later that day, Bartleby chooses not to own up to his lie. Standing before the new students, he bemoans college exclusivity and decries “isn’t it time you’re said ‘yes’ to?” and proceeds to let everyone into his fake college. In the very next scene the President of nearby Harmon College, the region’s elite academy, explains that selectivity and exclusivity are integral to a school’s stature.  While this is traditionally a reference to the admissions process, the President lays out his plan for a physical manifestation of this exclusion: a massive, gentrifying gateway “to keep knowledge in, and ignorance out.” Meanwhile, in order to craft a plan, Bartleby pays a visit to Harmon College to figure out what higher education is supposed to be. The ensuing montage is one of highly structured, stifling curricula, a lack of individuality in massive classrooms, and really goal-oriented, grade-driven students.

Despite his dean’s argument that college was about job-readiness, Bartleby decides to ask the new students what they want to learn. “All of our lives we’ve been told what to learn, well today the tide’s going to turn because today – we’re asking the customer.” This leads to the creation of a whiteboard covered in course ideas, and each student’s tuition is spent predominantly on those subjects. When the love-interest visits, she quickly asks Bartleby, “there aren’t any tests or required reading or any of that nonsense?”

But are tests and required reading really the problem?  When Bartleby tries to steer away from traditional higher education, it results in a broad curriculum taught by the students that relies on experiences rather than grades. No required Ancient Roman history class when you want to be a photographer, no spillover class in front of a speaker, and no recording of every word in case it’s on the test. But higher education was never supposed to be these things anyways. While a basic curriculum should provide some foundation for learning, the stifling major maps of many of today’s colleges are a way of streamlining students to make everything easier for administration. Massive class sizes save school’s money and grading systems quicken the evaluation process. And on top of all of this, the exclusivity of some universities is a part of why they are so expensive. All of this is a result of the commodification of education. It’s this type of education is the kind that treats students as customers.

So when the people at Harmon out Bartleby as a fraud, the crew decides to fight for accreditation  The state defines a college as “a body of people with a shared common purpose of a higher education,” and at the hearing, the board states that a college must have a facility, a curriculum, and a faculty. The facility comes in the form of a mental hospital with a skating ramp, the curriculum is wheeled out in whiteboard-form, and the students identify themselves as faculty (kinda like, you know, grad students).  Bartleby issues a monologue decrying college traditions of hazing outcasts, driving students crazy with stress, and robbing students of creativity. “You don’t need teachers or a classroom to learn,” he argues, “just people with the desire to better themselves.”

When the board votes to allow the school to operate on an experimental basis, the chairman states that “the true purpose of education is to stimulate the creativity and the passions of the student body.”  But what hope does South Harmon have?

South Harmon eschews everything from a proper gymnasium to tenured faculty in establishing its by-the-student-for-the-student model. It succeeds in placing decision-making with those most concerned with the education at hand – the students and the faculty. With students paying into the system with the hopes of learning something in order to better their lives, they ought to have a say in what they do in school. South Harmon makes good on this promise, using tuition funds primarily on the education of students. Today’s universities spend that same money on construction, marketing, losing $23 billion in investments – anything but teaching. Tuition dollars need to go towards education, and at South Harmon they do. At local rival Harmon College, the money is spent on gentrifying the neighborhood for an arch named after the President, by the President.

South Harmon also lacks grades completely. When visiting Harmon, Bartleby saw sleep-deprived students mumbling mnemonics and frantically scribbling down everything the professor says. Note-taking and memory strategies can help you learn, of course, but test-oriented learning isn’t learning at all. Today, education at all levels is obsessed with grades – be it standardized testing or many schools’ unspoken policy or not failing students (lest they ruin the school’s stats). But in classes of hundreds of students, grading a multiple choice test is the only way your SOC-101 teacher is going to decide that you passed. In small classes, where there is more attention paid to each student and more intensive learning rather than test-taking, grades aren’t needed. If the class is small enough, you can see who’s learning and you don’t need grades. If the class is small enough, learning will be happening, and you don’t need to fail people. South Harmon’s classes are all small – except a few lectures from the dean that seem more like a speaker series than a course. Small classes with committed faculty and engaged students mean you don’t need grades. Get rid of large class sizes, get rid of grades. Just like we need to get rid of endless spending on non-educational excess.

Another place where Gaines’ model is absolutely right is the complete lack of administration at the school. Administration is – of course – the most absurd part of higher education today. It’s the source of a host of problems we face today, like stringent curricula, tuition hikes, and lack of academic freedom and it’s the embodiment of the bureaucracy of education that we’re dealing with now. Indeed, my undergraduate years were spent at a state university with a team of over a dozen vice presidents, and I’m currently studying at a school with a dozen more. Faculty and students can run schools, and they should. After all, they’re the ones that higher education is meant to serve. Meanwhile, the effects of administrative-heavy colleges is everywhere, be it the monetary cost of administrative bloatthe disasters of appointed governing boards, or the erosion of faculty governance. And South Harmon soundly rejects its very existence.

It’s not a novel concept that institutions of higher education be run efficiently to better use resources for learning and research. Rather than fund administrative bloat, go on urban construction binges, sign deals with board members’ companies, or profit off of research patents, universities should be funding teaching and research for the public good. Universities used to be run predominantly by the faculty – whose primary concern was research and education – not full-time administrators. In the fictional world of Accepted, it took a team of would-be freshmen to build their own fake school in order to have a college not turned into a money-draining all-administrative body that saw teaching as a means to feed capitalism. What will it take for our universities to throw off the yoke of the administration and reclaim the university for those who use it?

HB 2675 is Gone

The Daily Wildcat is reporting that the minimum tuition bill, that would have forced students to pay at least $2000 in tuition regardless of need-based scholarships, was withdrawn yesterday. It’s great news for students – and really anyone who cares about higher education. Thanks go out to everyone who raised a fuss and especially student activists that were involved in speaking out against the bill.

In honor of the bill’s withdrawal, I’d love to quote our very own Arizona Constitution, Article 11, 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.

Students Aren’t Irresponsible – The Minimum Tuition Bill Is

Amid my short bout of confusion this afternoon over the status of the minimum tuition bill, HB 2675, I contacted the original sponsor, Representative John Kavanagh, asking if the bill had been withdrawn, and received a simple answer that the bill has not been withdrawn and will be discussed in the Appropriations Committee this week (see my update on today’s prior post). In addition, Kavanagh also sent me talking points as to why the bill should be passed, which I have decided to post in its entirety for you:

  • Currently about 48% of students at our state universities pay no tuition at all. Only 5% are academic or athletic scholars. The rest are being given unearned tuition subsidies from the universities.
  • HB2675 requires students, other than academic and athletic scholars, to pay $2,000 of their approximately $9,000 yearly tuition – a mere 20%. They may use their own money, university work-study program money or outside scholarships, grants, gifts or loans, excluding Pell grants, to pay this $2,000.
  • HB2675 still allows the universities to give these students up to $7,000 per year in unearned tuition subsidies, about 80% of their tuition.
  • The $18 million that this frees up will be kept by the universities and may be spent for other purposes, such as tuition rate reductions or improving academics.
  • Even if some students have to take out loans to pay the minimum $2,000 tuition per year and an extra $1,500 per year for fees and books, that still would only amount to a four-year debt of $14,000, which is less than the cost of a Chevy Sonic. Our state university degrees are worth far more than the cost of a Chevy Sonic. In addition, based upon an inspection of university parking lots, students have no trouble getting car loans for greater amounts and paying them off.
  • These unearned tuition subsidizes, which pay the full tuition of non-academic and non-athletic scholars, cause several unintended negative consequences:
    • The free tuition often makes it cheaper for students to attend universities rather than community colleges, which lures some less academically prepared students to universities, when they would be better served going to smaller, more teaching-focused community colleges for a year to two before going to impersonal university with greater distractions. As a result, some of these students fail or drop out, lowering the completion rates of our state universities, which lowers their national ratings and devalues the worth and prestige of their past, present and future degrees.
    • When students pay nothing towards their tuition, some take their studies less seriously and then fail to graduate. This lowers the completion rates of the universities, their national ratings and the value of their degrees.
    •  Taxpayers who generally do not have university degrees wind up paying the tuition of those who will statistically earn one-half to a full million dollars more in salary over their lifetimes. This is unfair.
    • Currently, nearly half of all in-state undergraduates pay no tuition due to this unearned subsidy, which extends this aid well beyond the poor.

Kavanagh repeatedly refers to need-based full-ride scholarships as “unearned tuition subsidies,” arguing that completing the admissions process and qualifying for funding based on financial necessity is not enough to warrant being awarded the funds to pay for education. Again, we are seeing a division being made between the academic and athletic scholarship recipients, who “earn” (and by extension, deserve) their scholarships, and those who apparently receive unwarranted scholarships. And he covers for it by saying that he’s only making them pay a mere 20%, a mere $2,000 a year. But that’s precisely why people receive these types of scholarships – because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford the education for which they are striving. To call this anything other than a war on the lower class is to admit that you’re not paying attention.

But it’s not enough to force the poor to pay for tuition that they can’t afford. Why not add a dose of condescending humor? Kavanagh decides to compare the overall cost of tuition to a cheap car, assumes that value equals dollars rendered and nothing else, and then says this:

…based upon an inspection of university parking lots, students have no trouble getting car loans for greater amounts and paying them off.

What kind of assholey argument is that? Kavanagh is ignoring that transportation – like education – is often a necessity, while simultaneously ignoring that a large number of students rely solely on public transportation to reach campus. He ignores that students sometimes need cars to get to jobs to help pay for rent, books, and other costs – things that a full-ride scholarship still doesn’t cover. He’s ignoring that, without a scholarship to cover tuition costs, paying for things like cars – or even parking on campus – is difficult for many. He’s also ignoring that students are individuals worth more respect than his little jab at fiscal responsibility conveys.

The fact that Kavanagh thinks that students – especially poor ones – are irresponsible and unable to make good decisions is continually reinforced with every bullet point. It goes beyond “students who get scholarships waste money on cars.” Students who can’t afford higher education don’t deserve a chance to get it. Students who successfully get admitted to research universities aren’t committed or prepared enough to finish college. Students who don’t pay for their education don’t value it and as a result won’t try hard. Those who want to pursue higher education, but can’t afford it, don’t deserve the help of the community that would benefit from their work.

That this type of legislation can be seen as anything but an attack on the poor is absurd. And yet it’s only when the marginalized (or in the case of Occupy, the newly marginalized) try to stand up that it’s called class warfare. This is just one of many instances in which the legislature is trying to put more pressure on those that have little and are striving for more. It’s a shame that this type of legislation is even seeing the light of day in a time when more and more people are being squeezed by the recession and are fighting to attain a higher education. Students aren’t irresponsible for aiming to get an education. However, it is irresponsible for the government to try to walk away from its obligation to provide an education to residents that are a part of the community, help fund the institution, and want to be educated.

HB 2675 Might Be Gone (with updates)

A few moments ago, I was on the Arizona state legislature’s website to check up on a current nemesis, the minimum tuition bill that would get rid of need-based full-ride scholarships. While on the site, I found the bill and checked its status – nothing had changed. I checked the overview and its most recent action was listed as “2/15/12 W/D,” which indicates (to my knowledge) that the bill was withdrawn.

Most recent action lists the bill as withdrawn. (Screen captured at 11:40 today)

Having not heard much, I perused local newspapers and asked the internet about it, so far to no avail. I called the original sponsor of the bill, but got no answer. For a while, the state legislature’s website was rerouting me to this bill, a bill from the previous legislative session regarding food stamps. Manually finding my way back to the current session, the bill still says it was withdrawn last week. I’ll update more on this as the day moves continues.

12:45 Update: It appears that the bill has been withdrawn from the Committee on Higher Education, Innovation and Reform, although I have not found out why. The Appropriations Committee, of which Rep. John Kavanagh is the chairman, is still scheduled to discuss the bill tomorrow morning. Including Kavanagh, six sponsors of the bill are on the 13-member committee. The HEIR Committee had no sponsors among its membership.

9:40 Update: Earlier this afternoon I e-mailed the original sponsor of the bill to ask about its status. He responded with a long list of reasons to support the bill, which I just finished criticizing here.

Feb. 23 Update: The House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to pass the bill after a very intense testimony from students and other stakeholders. It’s a sad move towards a potential equivalent to a $2,000 tuition increase for the poorest students in the state. An amendment was passed exempting students living on campus, but an exemption for veterans was not passed.

Mar. 1 Update: The bill was withdrawn by Rep. Kavanagh yesterday!

A New Burden for Arizona Students

Recently, State Representative John Kavanagh introduced a bill, HB 2675 [pdf], that would establish a minimum tuition that has to be paid by the student. The bill will force students to “pay $2,000 unless they have a full-ride scholarship based on athletics or academics” – effectively getting rid of needs-based full-ride assistance. The bill, if passed, would even restrict students’ ability to pay with other awards: it says that any other awards from a source affiliated with the university cannot be used to pay for tuition. This would include things like this fellowship that I won in my junior year, or countless other awards offered by the university, colleges, centers, and even the university’s foundation, forcing students to either work or take out loans to pay for their education.

The bill has 24 sponsors right now, and the body is comprised of sixty members. It’s not unrealistic to believe that this bill could become law very soon. It was introduced in the House by John Kavanagh, who you might know as the representative who was a staunch supporter of controversial SB1070 and was a big supporter of contracting with private prisons, in addition to the mastermind behind charging people $25 to visit their family members in prison. Not coincidentally, he is also an active member of ALEC and he received donations from prison privatization lobbyists. It looks like he’s now set his sights on higher education.

According to the linked article, Kavanagh thinks that $8,000 in loans isn’t much since those who choose to go to college will make more than those who don’t. Not only does that ignore the fact that many students who get full-ride scholarships still take out loans for cost of living, an $8,000 loan turns into almost $12,000 due to interest. Kavanagh also defends the fact that merit-based full-ride scholarships remain intact by saying that they contribute to the school. Because if you don’t get recognized  for your intellect of your athleticism in the form of cash, you must not bring anything to the table. He also argues that tax payers shouldn’t pay for higher education because then students don’t take classes as seriously and because it encourages enrollment of students who aren’t actually ready for college. He actually said that.

It’s important to note that the state constitution says that education must be as nearly free as possible. Instead, Kavanagh thinks it’s appropriate to throw a $2000 tuition increase at the most vulnerable students. The response in Arizona’s universities will be interesting. The universities in Arizona have been hit pretty hard over the years, including massive cuts in state funding over the last three years. Just during my time at ASU tuition has skyrocketed while class sizes get bigger. By law, each university will have to host a public hearing about the law since it constitutes a tuition increase for some students. It will be interesting to see if the student community can mobilize itself enough to speak up about this bill.