Non-Resident Tuition Increases 32 Percent
Starting a new life is not always an easy thing, but Casandra Guarino was determined to do it; by herself.
She is from Kansas City, Mo., and her main goal since she moved to Fayetteville has been to graduate from medical school.
But, there is one problem: she can’t afford to attend the UA.
Guarino attended the UA for one year before the walls came crashing down.
“My first year I had all scholarships, but most of them were one-year scholarships, and I wasn’t aware of that at the time,” she said.
She had to pay for tuition almost entirely out-of-pocket after her freshman scholarships expired.
Guarino does not have to pay full out-of-state tuition, because she is from a state contiguous to Arkansas.
The price of tuition for students who live in contiguous states is more than $1,000 a year more than in-state tuition, said Steve Voorhies, manager of news and media relations.
During a four-year period students from contiguous states could pay more than $4,000 in tuition.
Annual tuition cost in fall 2011 was $17,606 for out-of-state students and when room and board are added the total is more than $25,000 for one year at the UA, according to College Board.
In-state tuition, however, was $7,174 in the same year and when room and board are added the cost is a little more than $15,000.
The difference between in-state cost and out-of-state cost can be about $10,000 for one year at the UA and during a four-year period the cost could be more than $40,000 difference.
Tuition also has increased with the student population since at least 2000, according to College Board.
In 2000 tuition and fees were $4,778 for in-state students, $12,427 for out-of-state students with an undergraduate total of 12,501 students. In 2010 tuition and fees were $6,960 for in-state students and $16,455 for out-of-state students with an undergraduate total of 17,247, according to UA enrollment records and College Board.
This was a more than 45 percent increase in tuition and fees for in-state students, a little more than 32 percent increase for out-of-state students and an increase of nearly 40 percent in undergraduate student population.
Student loan debt has increased with tuition.
Student loan debt is more than $900 billion and will continue to increase, according to finaid.org.
However, President Obama made an attempt to help student borrowers.
In Obama’s plan, he announced Oct. 25, new steps will be taken to make college more affordable and easier to pay back for students, according to the White House website.
Borrowers will be able to cap student loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income. Obama plans to implement the changes in 2012, which could reduce monthly payments for more than 1.6 million students.
For example if a nurse earns $45,000 and has $60,000 in federal loans the repayment under the current plan would be $690, however, under the new plan the borrowers payment would be $119, a savings of a little more than $450 a month, according to the website.
Average debt after graduation at the UA is about $20,000, which is lower than the national average of $23,000, according to College Board and finaid.org.
Guarino will exceed the average of $20,000, because she is an out-of-state student and will rely mostly on student loans to finish her undergraduate degree.
In fact, Gaurino will not be able to attend the UA until next year at the earliest, because she is working to save money. She plans to save at least $1,000 before the spring semester.
Gaurino will have to attend Northwest Arkansas Community College where tuition is less expensive. NWACC tuition is $2,748 for full-time in-state students and $5,598 for full-time out-of-state students for 2011 to 2012, according to College Board.
At those prices, an in-state student could save more than $2,000 and an out-of-state student could save nearly $7,000 by attending NWACC as opposed to the UA.
Guarino is facing difficulties financially, but this is not the first time she has motivated herself to accomplish a goal, she said.
“I have done this on my own, my parents didn’t really encourage me to go to college, they never said they would help me go to college,” she said.
Not only will Guarino be the first doctor in her family, but she will also be the first graduate from a four-year university in her family.