Jimmy Arwood
Vice President of Policy
jarwood@asu.edu

Students complain about tuition hikes every year. Heck, I complain about tuition hikes every year.

As a small freshman, I wanted to know how I could change the conversation from complaining about tuition to doing something about tuition.

There’s a lot to know, so let’s start with 3 simple ways to make your voice heard on tuition.

Step 1: Talk to your members of student government (so original, I know)

Now I know this sounds cheesy. (I get it—how can student government do anything?) The fact is that the ASU administration and the Arizona Board of Regents ask our student government about what they are hearing from students.

If you feel that tuition is too high, meet with your college senator, send an email to your president or do something instead of just being mad. We make change not by how loudly we shout, but by how organized our voices are.

Step 2: Making your voice heard at the university level

If you feel that you need to do more than just email your senator or executives, know that Dr. Crow and the Arizona Board of Regents hold hearings throughout the year where you can learn more about why tuition is increasing.

It’s important that you share your questions with university officials so that the university can understand your concerns. The regents and Dr. Crow take everything that is said into account.

Each year the Arizona Board of Regents holds a tuition hearing so that students can give their input. Every year the regents dedicate two hours to this event, but these often run short because there aren’t enough student speakers.

Students should utilize these events more effectively when they feel uncomfortable by a tuition increase.

Step 3: Talking to your elected officials at the state level

Tuition is directly impacted by state funding. Each year, the Arizona legislature votes on a budget. These budgets often directly affect the price of tuition.

When the legislature cut universities by $99 million a few years ago, in-state students had the Surcharge fee that they pay each year to help offset the funding cuts.

These are results from university funding cuts. If you don’t know who your state legislators are, feel free to visit this handy dandy district locator. http://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

Look at the legislative district number you live in and match it with your house members:
http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=H

And Senate members:
http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=S

You don’t need to be an expert; just share your student experiences and explain why you think tuition should be more affordable.

Conclusion!

I know from personal experience that sometimes government doesn’t listen to us. What is important to know is that we can change the shape of this issue, but it takes time and effort.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Just have a venting session with your friends, write it down, send it to your USGD member, speak to the Arizona Board of Regents or send an email to your legislator.

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