Arizona State Faces Tuition Hikes After Spending $500K to Host Clintons

Tuition has nearly doubled in last decade

Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, University of Arizona
Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, University of Arizona / AP
May 26, 2015

Arizona State University students face yet another tuition hike for the 2015-16 school year, nearly doubling the cost of attendance in the last decade, while also contributing more than half a million dollars to the Clinton Foundation last year.

The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) approved tuition hikes across the board for undergraduate students as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey approved a state budget cutting more than $100 million from public university budgets.

While the initial reaction from the university was that these hikes could negatively affect student enrollment, ASU spokesman were quick to defend the school’s $500,000 expense for hosting the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in March of last year.

"ASU played host to the CGI University in March 2014, which featured former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a program aimed at bringing together college students to find practical, innovative solutions to global challenges," ASU spokesman Mark Johnson told Arizona Republic reporter Dan Nowicki.

ASU claims to have "co-invested" in the educational visit from the Clintons to Arizona more than a year ago, asserting that it was not a "donation" to the Clinton’s themselves.

The University also said that no state funds were used to pay the sum, however ASU has yet to disclose from where the funds were allocated.

Other ramifications emerging from ASU’s lack of funds includes an ABOR approval to increase program fees, residence hall costs, university housing and meal plans costs, totaling in "approximately $154 more to live in a residence hall" according to The State Press.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who hosted Clinton at the The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University in April of last year, decried the robust contribution tied to the CGI’s seminar just months before.

"Frankly, if I had known that that was the situation, that they were being paid $500,000, I would have spoken up at the time that I thought it was outrageous," McCain told The Arizona Republic.