First Day at NAU

Students eat lunch in the food court at the student union at Northern Arizona University.

With the school year now comfortably underway, Northern Arizona University’s in-state price tag continues to sit between the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.

New NAU in-state undergraduate students are paying about 4.6 percent more this year than last year, as the cost of tuition and mandatory fees increased to $11,564 from $11,059. ASU did not increase tuition for resident undergrads, and the price went to $10,882 from $10,792 due to fees. University of Arizona increased its tuition by 1.8 percent, bringing this year’s cost to $12,447 from $12,228.

Incoming out-of-state graduates still pay less at NAU: $25,828 per year, compared to $28,336 at ASU and $36,346 at UA.

Mandatory fees include funds that could go toward programs such as health and recreation, student activities, athletics and transportation. None of that price tag takes into account other expenditures like room and board, books or supplies.

“NAU has seen steady enrollment growth for the last five years, and tuition rates are assessed each year and adjusted to ensure that we have the operational and academic capacity to provide a high-quality education for our students,” said NAU spokesperson Kimberly Ott. “This is reflected when we review and establish a new tuition rate for incoming classes on the Flagstaff campus that accounts for impacts expected to our overall funding resources and expenditure requirements.”

Along with establishing a new tuition amount, NAU also underwent a multi-year review of its class and program fees, which resulted in the elimination of more than 300 class fees and the reduction of the rate of 300 others.

Though the increase for all three Arizona universities was approved in April by the Arizona Board of Regents and went into effect for the 2018-19 school year, students who are in their sophomore, junior and senior years at NAU did not see a change in their tuition because of the NAU Pledge Program.

“We have just entered our 11th year of providing certainty for our students and their families by guaranteeing a tuition rate that does not increase for our incoming Flagstaff mountain campus students for four years,” Ott said. “The purpose of this pledge is to help make the costs of a college education more predictable for Flagstaff campus undergraduate students and their families.”

By ensuring that a student’s tuition stay the same for his or her undergraduate career, the program protects students from sudden spikes in tuition and enables them to estimate and budget for college expenses more accurately.

The average in-state tuition and mandatory fees at the three state universities have more than doubled since a decade ago, though the increases have leveled off some in recent years. In fiscal year 2009, NAU cost $5,446, UA was $5,542, and ASU was $5,659, according to ABOR documents.


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