Students stroll by the Student Union Memorial Center on the campus of the University of Arizona.

Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star/

The University of Arizona is proposing a new fee to support its athletics programs and facilities as part of the school’s tuition proposal for the 2017-2018 year.

The university is also proposing a 1 percent tuition increase for incoming students next school year, whether they’re Arizona residents or not.

The new proposed athletics fee is the latest iteration of a proposal for a $200 annual fee that then-UA athletics director Greg Byrne made last year to help fund about $150 million in improvements to Arizona stadium.

That proposal was dropped after the university faced backlash, especially from graduate and professional students.

This year’s proposal sets the athletics fee at $100 for incoming undergraduate students and $50 for incoming graduate students, who could opt out of paying the fee, according to the UA.

The fee, which would support athletics facilities and operations, would allow undergraduate students to attend all sports games for free except men’s football and men’s basketball, UA spokesman Chris Sigurdson said. Graduate students who choose to pay the fee can attend all games other than men’s basketball. The money collected through the fee will not be used for coaches’ salaries.

As for the tuition proposal, more than 90 percent of current undergraduates would not see an increase, said Sigurdson. Existing undergraduate students who are enrolled in a tuition-guarantee program have a frozen tuition rate for four years.

Tuition and fees for new in-state undergraduate students would rise from $11,769 to $12,228 a year under the proposal. New nonresident undergraduate students would pay an additional $691, bringing the total cost to $35,658 a year.

For new graduate students entering in the fall, the increase is $365 if they are Arizona residents and $563 if they are not.

Other proposed fee increases for new students for the 2017-2018 school year include:

  • A $125 increase in the health and recreation fee, which brings the new amount to $425;
  • A $55 increase in the information-technology and library fee for a new total of $535 and;
  • A $70 increase in student-services fee to $150.

The combinations of increases in fees, including the athletic fees, would bring in about $3.5 million in additional revenue to the UA.

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