COST STUDY DEMONSTRATES EFFICIENCY
A thorough cost study conducted and verified by an independent third party demonstrates that compared to public university peers, Arizona’s public universities graduate a higher percentage of students at a lower cost.
The recent cost study determined that in fiscal year 2016, Arizona’s public universities cost per student ($16,813) was lower than the aggregated national average of four-year public institutions, including both research and non-research universities.
Systemwide, Arizona public universities are spending about $800 per student less today in real dollars than the institutions spent in fiscal year 2008. Current state support for Arizona resident students, is approximately $5,630 per student. Based on this data, to attain the goals in the resident student funding model, state investment in resident students would need to increase to $7,898 per student.
Key takeaways from the study include:
- During fiscal year 2016, on average, Arizona’s public universities spent $16,813 per student. This cost is based on nationally established financial reporting standards and audited financial information.
- ABOR engaged Grant Thornton, a national accounting firm, to independently verify the presented information and provide comparisons with peer universities.
- Grant Thornton found Arizona public universities’ use of the data is correct.
- Grant Thornton also determined Arizona’s public universities cost per student is lower than the aggregated national average of four‐year public institutions – an average that includes both research and non‐research universities.
- After adjustments for inflation, fiscal year 2016 per student expenditures were $838 less than per student expenditures in fiscal year 2008.