New study finds cost of post-secondary education per student is $16,000 in Arizona


TED SIMONS: COMING UP, NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON A NEW STUDY LOOKS AT COSTS PER STUDENT AT STATE UNIVERSITIES AND WE WILL CHECK OUT A NEW SCIENCE FICTION BOOK WRITTEN AND PUT TOGETHER BY SCIENTISTS THOSE STORIES NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON.
ARIZONA HORIZON IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.
TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON I'M TED SIMONS AND JEFF FLAKE WILL GIVE A SPEECH IN SUPPORT OF THE PRESS TOMORROW THE SAME DAY PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SCHEDULED TO RELEASE HIS FAKE NEWS AWARDS IT'S BEEN REPORTED THAT FLAKE'S SPEECH WILL HAVE A COMPARISON BETWEEN TRUMP AND STALIN BUT A REPORTER TOLD CNN YESTERDAY HE IS NOT MAKING A COMPARISON HE IS JUST CONCERNED OVER THE PRESIDENT'S RHETORIC WITH THE PRESS BEING THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

JEFF FLAKE: I AM IN NO WAY COMPARING PRESIDENT TRUMP TO JOSEPH STALIN, JOSEPH STALIN WAS A KILLER, OUR PRESIDENT IS NOT BUT IT JUST PUZZLES ME AS TO WHY YOU WOULD USE THE PHRASE THAT IS SO LOADED AND THAT HAS SUCH DEEPER MEANING THAT THE PRESS BEING THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE AND SO THAT IS A BIG CONCERN.

TED SIMONS: FLAKE ADDED WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAYS HAS LASTING IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PRESS BOTH HERE IN THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD WHERE A NUMBER OF JOURNALISTS ARE IMPRISONED ON FALSE NEWS CHARGES. ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVED THE STUDY REPORT WHICH LOOKS HOW MUCH THE STATE UNIVERSITIES SPEND PER STUDENT AND HERE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THE STUDY FOUND IS BOARD OF REGENTS PRESIDENT EILEEN KLINE THANKS FOR JOINING US. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STUDY WHAT EXACTLY WAS LOOKED AT HERE?

EILEEN KLEIN: THE STUDY IS NEW AND WHAT THE NAME SUGGESTED AND TRIED TO DRILL IN THE COST OF EDUCATING AN ARIZONA RESIDENT STUDENT BOTH FOR THE INSTRUCTIONAL COST, THE EDUCATIONAL PIECE PLUS THE CAPITAL PIECE. THE STUDY SPOILER ALERT LARGELY REVEALS WHAT WE ALREADY KNEW THE COST TO EDUCATE AN ARIZONA STUDENT IS WHAT WE HAD ESTIMATED BEFORE AROUND 16,000 INCLUDING CAPITAL. BUT WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT IS THE STUDY HAS BEEN VALIDATED BY A THIRD-PARTY AND WE HOPE IT WILL PUT TO REST ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE COSTS OF EDUCATION ARE SO OUR POLICY MAKERS HAVE CERTAINTY OF THE STATE BUDGET.

TED SIMONS: AS A RESULT OF THOSE QUESTIONS WAS THE STUDY, CORRECT?

EILEEN KLEIN: ABSOLUTELY, SO THIS STUDY WAS MANDATED BY THE LEGISLATURE. THE ARIZONA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM HAD ALREADY DONE A NUMBER OF COST ESTIMATES BUT THIS STUDY WAS MANDATED AS PART OF LAST YEAR'S BUDGET AND LARGELY CAME ABOUT BECAUSE IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS THE UNIVERSITIES HAVE ASKED THE LEGISLATURE TO PAY FOR HALF OF A RESIDENT STUDENT EDUCATION AND THE LEGISLATURE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT IS THE COST REALLY GOING TO BE AND BE SURE EACH YEAR THEY CAN KEEP AN EYE ON WHAT THE COSTS ARE AND WHAT IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE COSTS.

TED SIMONS: LOOK AT TUITION, PROGRAM COSTS, FEES, THESE SORT OF THING.

EILEEN KLEIN: THE COST OF INSTRUCTION THE FACULTY ANY OF THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS EXCLUDING TEXTBOOKS BUT WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO DELIVER THE EDUCATION TO THE STUDENT. WE DID A CROSS SECTION WE TOOK A LOOK BY PROGRAMS AND OF COURSE WE CONSIDERED CAPITAL, WE CONSIDERED ONLINE AND WHETHER WHAT THE IMPACT OF ONLINE INSTRUCTION WOULD BE SO WE FEEL THE STUDY IS VERY COMPREHENSIVE BUT ALSO IT PUTS A FINE POINT NOW WHAT THE COSTS ARE SO WE CAN USE THAT WITH CONFIDENCE AND TALKING TO POLICY MAKERS.

TED SIMONS: WAS THERE A DELINEATION BETWEEN TEACHING AND RESEARCH?

EILEEN KLEIN: WELL, WE REALLY LOOK AT WHAT THE COSTS ARE TO IN PARTICULAR INSTRUCT, SO WE HAVE RESEARCH BASED FACULTY WE HAVE OTHER FACULTY WHO ARE NOT TENURE TRACK FACULTY SO WE REALLY TOOK A VERY BROAD LOOK AT WHAT IT TAKES TO DELIVER EDUCATION TO OUR STUDENTS BUT THAT MAY VARY BY MAJOR SO WE TRIED TO CONSIDER YOU KNOW WHETHER THE COST DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN A MORE TECHNICAL PROGRAM VERSUS A MORE GENERAL LIBERAL ARTS PROGRAM AND SO WE HAVE SOME OF THE SUBTLETIES DEFINED ACROSS THE PROGRAMS BUT REALLY FOR PURPOSES OF THE LEGISLATURE WE HAVE THE 16,000 DOLLAR FIGURE AND NOW WE REALLY WANT TO TURN THE CONVERSATION TO MAKING SURE THAT EACH YEAR THE STATE IS CONTRIBUTING WHAT IT NEEDS TO HELP SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS.

TED SIMONS: DO YOU THINK THIS INFORMATION WILL MAKE THAT POINT?

EILEEN KLEIN: I THINK THIS COST STUDY WILL BE VERY HELPFUL FOR THE LEGISLATURE. ONE, SO THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S REALLY INVOLVED IN DELIVERING A UNIVERSITY EDUCATION TO OUR STUDENTS. IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT FOR THE PUBLIC TO KNOW WE ARE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, WE WANT OUR STUDENTS WHO ARE REALLY MAJORITY SHAREHOLDERS NOW BY PAYING TUITION WE WANT THEM TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE NUMBERS AND WE WANT TO BE SURE OUR UNIVERSITIES REMAIN COMPETITIVE SO APART FROM MAKING SURE WE ARE WITHIN THE BALANCE OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT THE COST OF EDUCATION IS NEARLY AS FREE AS POSSIBLE WE ALSO NEED TO MAKE SURE WE REMAIN VERY ATTRACTIVE. WE RELY HEAVILY ON OUT OF STATE STUDENTS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO CHOOSE ARIZONA SCHOOLS AND DEMONSTRATES WE HAVE A GOOD MIX OF PRICE AND VALUE.

WE’LL GET TO THAT FREE AS POSSIBLE CLAUSE IN ONE SECOND, 16,000 SOME ODD PER STUDENT IS LOWER THAN AVERAGE FOR FOUR YEAR UNIVERSITIES ARE WE TAKING AGAIN TEACHING, RESEARCH, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS?

EILEEN KLEIN: COMPARE IT TO LIKE INSTITUTIONS AND WE HAVE A RELIABLE NUMBER THAT SHOWS WE ARE A TREMENDOUS VALUE COMPARED TO OUR PEERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WHAT IS ALSO SIGNIFICANT IS OUR COSTS ARE LOWER THAN THEY WERE THIS 2008 SO OVER THE PAST DECADE DESPITE TAKING IN LARGER NUMBERS OF STUDENTS AND FOR EVERYTHING WE HAVE GONE THROUGH WITH THE RECESSION WE ARE ACTUALLY DELIVERING OUR EDUCATION AT A LOWER COST. NOW PEOPLE ARE WONDERING WELL HOW COME TUITION HASN'T STAYED FLAT AND A LOT OF THAT OF COURSE IS BECAUSE OF THE MIX AND THE CHANGE OF SUPPORT FROM THE STATE. BUT IN TERMS OF COSTS AND WHAT IT COSTS TO DELIVER THE EDUCATION OUR NUMBERS ARE DOWN FROM A DECADE AGO.

TED SIMONS: FULL TIME FACULTY PER 100 STUDENTS AGAIN THAT IS BELOW THE PEER AVERAGE?

EILEEN KLEIN: CORRECT SO WE LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE THINGS AS BEING TREMENDOUS EFFICIENCY MEASURES SO WE WANT TO BE SURE OUR STUDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO WORLD CLASS FACULTY THAT IS PART OF THE VALUE OF CHOOSING TO GO TO A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY BUT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ARE KEEPING THE COSTS AS LOW AS POSSIBLE SO THE UNIVERSITIES ARE ALSO LOOKING AT WHAT IS THE RIGHT MIX OF FACULTY, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT WE'VE GOT STUDENTS WHO ARE GETTING INSTRUCTION BY OUR FACULTY MEMBERS WHO ARE EXPERT IS PART OF THE BIG DRAW AND HOW DO WE DO THAT IN THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE WAY POSSIBLE SO IT SPEAKS TO THE PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS AND WE THINK LIKEWISE RESEARCH CONTRIBUTES TO THE VALUE OF AN UNDER GRADUATE EDUCATION SO ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE TAKEN IN CONSIDERATION BUT SPECIFICALLY THE COSTS ARE INTENDED TO ARTICULATE WHAT IT COSTS TO EDUCATE A STUDENT.

TED SIMONS: ALL RIGHT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OBVIOUSLY SEES THINGS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENTLY REGARDLESS OF THE RECORD RAISING TUITION 370%. HE SAYS THAT IS NOT KEEPING TUITION AS FREE AS POSSIBLE. THAT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

EILEEN KLEIN: WELL, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WE CERTAINLY RESPECT HIM AS THE CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER OF THE STATE BUT UNFORTUNATELY HIS CLAIMS REALLY CONFLATE PRICE AND COSTS AND MOST PEOPLE IN THE STATE WOULD SAY WAIT THE COST VERSE THE PRICE THERE IS A LOT OF CONFUSION THERE, HOW WE DRIVE THE COST DOWN FOR ARIZONA STUDENTS IS REALLY BASED ON THE AVAILABILITY OF FINANCIAL AID AND USE A LOT OF INSTITUTIONAL AID TO MAKE SURE THE COSTS THAT ARE PAID BY STUDENTS ARE NEARLY AS FREE AS POSSIBLE SO WE HAVE DONE A COMPLIMENTARY STUDY AROUND FINANCIAL AID TO SHOW THAT AND THAT IS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING AFFORDABILITY. SO WE SHARE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S CONCERNS ABOUT TUITION, WE HAVE BEEN STEADILY WORKING TO BE SURE THAT THE COSTS THAT ARE BORN BY THE STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN ARIZONA ARE GOING DOWN, WE HAVE SEEN A CHANGE IN DIRECTIONS FOR THE RATE OF TUITION INCREASES BUT HAVING SAID THAT WE JUST DON'T THINK A LAWSUIT IS THE WAY TO SOLVE THAT.

TED SIMONS: AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS FINANCIAL AID BUT IF TUITION HAS INCREASED THAT MEANS SOMEONE OUT THERE IS PAYING THAT TUITION THEY ARE NOT GETTING AS MUCH FINANCIAL AID AS PERHAPS OTHERS ARE, IS THAT FAIR?

EILEEN KLEIN: WELL I DON'T THINK IT'S FAIR. THE CASE REALLY HINGES ON WHAT THE ADVERTISED PRICE IS. BUT THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME AS THE COST THAT'S BEING BORN BY THE STUDENTS. WHAT WE BELIEVE IS CONTEMPLATED BY THE CONSTITUTION IS MAKING SURE THAT THE COST OF EDUCATION IS NEARLY AS FREE AS POSSIBLE AND WE MANAGE THAT THROUGH THE USE OF FINANCIAL AID. SO WE KNOW THE STATE IS ALSO A CRITICAL PART TO THAT, IT'S CONFUSING TO US TO COMPLAINT WHY THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE LAWSUIT BUT JUST LITIGATING AROUND THE ADVERTISED COST OF TUITION IS NOT REALLY GOING TO BRING ABOUT THE KIND OF RELIEF THAT WE NEED FROM FAMILIES.

TED SIMONS: SO WHEN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS THAT THE BOARD AT THE UNIVERSITY HAVE NOT OFFERED A REAL CONCRETE REASON FOR THAT 370% INCREASE YOU SAY?

EILEEN KLEIN: NOT TRUE. NOT TRUE. IT JUST -- IT RUNS AGAINST NOT ONLY ECONOMICS BUT HISTORY AND SO REGARDLESS OF THE DEBATES OVER PRICE VERSUS COST OUR POINT IS THIS: IT WILL TAKE YEARS AND A LOT OF LITIGATION, A LOT OF WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN REJECTED BY THE COURTS AND WE WILL REALLY DISTRACT THIS STATE WHAT IT NEEDS TO GET TO PROVIDING SUFFICIENT FUNDING SO ALL QUALIFIED ARIZONA STUDENTS CAN GET INTO OUR UNIVERSITIES WITHOUT MORE SUPPORT FROM THE STATE, WITHOUT A VERY SOUND AND COGENT FINANCIAL AID STRATEGY THAT STUDENTS CAN TAKE WITH THEM IT'S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN ACCESS TO OUR UNIVERSITIES. TED IF WE HAD TO LIVE OFF WHAT THE STATE GAVE US FOR OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES ONLY A THIRD OF ARIZONA STUDENTS TODAY WOULD STILL BE IN THOSE CLASSROOMS.

TED SIMONS: THIS PARTICULAR SUIT REGARDING AS NEARLY FREE AS POSSIBLE ONE MORE THING ABOUT IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS YOU AND THE BOARD AND THE UNIVERSITIES ARE CONFUSING AFFORDABLE WITH AS NEARLY FREE AS POSSIBLE AND THAT COMPARING TO OTHER STATES AND PEER UNIVERSITIES IT'S IRRELEVANT AGAIN HOW DO YOU RESPOND?

EILEEN KLEIN: WE HOPE THE COST STUDY WILL DEMONSTRATE WHAT THE COSTS ARE. THE DEBATE IS ALWAYS ABOUT IN THE PUBLIC POLICY WHO IS GOING TO PAY AND AFTER THE DOWNTURN AND THE CUTS THAT WERE MADE TO THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM WHICH EVEN KNEW AT THE TIME AND KNEW IT WOULD RESULT IN HIGHER TUITION INCREASES WE SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE AT THE END OF THE RECESSION THAT THE PRICE OF TUITION IS UP BUT WE'VE MADE SURE THAT ALL OF OUR UNIVERSITY OFFERINGS ARE WITHIN REACH TO ARIZONA FAMILIES AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH THE USE OF FINANCIAL AID SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE ALL OF THAT INTO ACCOUNT. IT'S NOT -- IT CAN'T JUST BE DECIDED ON THE SURFACE OF WHAT THE EITHER THE PRICE ADVERTISING SHEET LOOKS LIKE OR WHAT THE FACE OF THE POLICY LOOKS LIKE. YOU REALLY HAVE TO GET INTO UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMICS AND REALLY WHAT IS BEING DONE WITH CHARGING STUDENTS VERSUS THE COST.

TED SIMONS: THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT WHAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS TALKING ABOUT HERE THIS IS PIGGYBACKED ON HIS ORIGINAL CONCERN AND LAWSUIT REGARDING DACA STUDENTS AND SUBSIDIZING FOR DACA STUDENTS THAT THERE IS NO STATUTE, YOU'RE SAYING THERE IS NO STATUTE THAT AUTHORIZES THE LAWSUIT, HE IS SAYING THE LAW SAYS YOU CAN'T DO WHAT YOU ARE DOING AS FAR AS SUBSIDIZING THESE FOLKS, IS IT JUST -- WHY ARE YOU CONTINUING WITH THIS UNTIL THE SUPREME COURT KIND OF MAKES A FINAL DECISION CONSIDERING WHAT THE PREVIOUS COURTS HAVE SAID?

EILEEN KLEIN: WELL THERE IS AN OPEN LEGAL QUESTION RIGHT NOW THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS SUING THE MARICOPA COMMUNITY COLLEGES VER OFFERING IN STATE TUTION FOR DACA, THE ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS WILL ALLOW IN STATE UNTIL THE SUPREME COURT HAS FINALLY RULED IN THIS MATTER AND THE POINT IS THIS WE NEED CONGRESS TO ACT AND WE NEED TO BE SURE CONGRESS ACTS IN A WAY THAT GRANTS THE SUFFICIENT LEGAL STATUS TO OUR DACA STUDENTS NOT JUST WHETHER IF THE PROGRAM CONTINUES BUT SUFFICIENT LEGAL STATUS SO UNDER THE STATE'S PROPOSITION THEY WILL QUALIFY FOR IN STATE TUITION SO HOW CONGRESS DECIDES TO RESOLVE THEIR IMMIGRATION MATTERS IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT BUT IT ALSO MATTERS WITH RESPECT TO OUR STATE'S PROPOSITION. WE HAVE TO HAVE CLARITY THERE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS TO HAVE CLARITY THERE AND SO WE REJECT THE ARGUMENT THE LONG AND WINDING ARGUMENT HE TRIES TO MAKE AROUND HOW DACA STUDENTS ARE BEING PAID FOR, THOSE ARE REALLY SEPARATE ISSUES AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE WORK WITH CONGRESS TO RESOLVE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS FOR OUR DACA STUDENTS AND THEN THAT WE WORK CLOSELY WITH THE LEGISLATURE AROUND FUNDING FOR OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES.

TED SIMONS: LAST QUESTION IT'S NOT A VERY WINDING ROAD WHEN HE SAYS YOUR POLICY GRANTED IT'S A DIFFERENT LAWSUIT AGAINST COMMUNITY COLLEGES BUT YOUR POLICY IS SET REGARDING DACA SUBSIDIES AND SUCH, HE IS SAYING IT'S NOT CONFUSED YOU'RE JUST BASICALLY IGNORING A COURT ORDER.

EILEEN KLEIN: THE BOARD HAS MADE A POLICY DECISION TO CONTINUE TO OFFER IN STATE TUITION AS LONG AS THIS CASE IS EITHER UNDER APPEAL OR THE SUPREME COURT DECIDES IT. AND WHETHER THE SUPREME COURT DECIDES NOT TO TAKE THE CASE OR THEY FIND IN THE MATTER, OF COURSE THE ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS IS GOING TO ABIDE THEY ARE IN THE SAME SECTION OF THE STATE CHARGES ALL THE LEGAL IN AND OUT ASIDE THE POINT IS THIS WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET THE SITUATION RESOLVED FOR DACA STUDENTS WITH REGARD TO THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS AND WE ALSO IS TO CONTINUE TO WORK ON AFFORDABILITY. WE DON'T THINK THAT RESOLUTION IS GOING TO BE FOUND IN THE COURTS NOT IN A WAY THAT IS GOING TO BE SUSTAINABLE FOR ARIZONA.

TED SIMONS: GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN AND THANKS FOR JOINING US COMING UP, NEXT A NEW COLLECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION, ART AND ESSAYS CREATED BY SCIENTISTS.

A study conducted by the Arizona Board of Regents and mandated by the Arizona legislature shows the cost of post-high school education per student is about $16,000.

The study was validated by a third party and will hopefully answer any question about the cost of education asked by policymakers, says President of the Arizona Board of Regents Eileen Klein.

Klein says the purpose of the study is to answer what it takes to effectively deliver education. The cost of paying faculty and other educational requirements were included, while additional needs like the cost of textbooks were left out.

Universities are public institutions so the study wasn’t designed for just the policymakers, but also the public, says Klein, who believes students should be able to have confidence in the numbers as well.

The release of the study comes at a time when the rising cost of education is a central point of controversy among lawmakers. General Mark Brnovich is currently suing the Arizona Board of Regents for violating the Arizona Constitution, which declares public education must remain “nearly as free as possible.”

Tution for attending a university in Arizona has been raised 320 percent in the last 15 years, a rise Brnovich says needs to be justified. Klein says the universities must remain competitive, but the reason the tuition has increased is due to the change of financial support from the state.

The Board of Regents is also being looked at for continuing to give students who are recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in-state tuition. Klein says the attorney general is suing Maricopa community colleges for offering this to DACA students. The Board has agreed to continue providing in-state tuition until the Supreme Court has made a decision.

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Eileen Klein: President, Arizona Board of Regents

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