Statement from College Success Arizona Following the 2019 State of the State
After hearing Governor Ducey’s priorities for 2019 in the State of the State, College Success Arizona offers its support and partnership to “do the things that matter.”
College Success Arizona is focused on students and affordability, and we know that Arizona needs to do much more as a state to raise awareness about—and provide greater support for—college access and attainment along the various pathways available, including credentials and associate and bachelor’s degree programs. Download our policy priorities one-pager to understand how we think Arizona can increase college access, affordability, and attainment.
Unfortunately, however, Arizona’s budget has not typically reflected these priorities.
In fact, between 2008 and 2017, Arizona reduced per-student higher education spending by more than 50 percent and the two largest community college systems, Maricopa and Pima, no longer receive any state funding. We also do not have a state-sponsored financial aid program. To our great shame, Arizona continues to stand out as one of the states that has failed low-income students most egregiously.
If Arizona is to remain competitive regionally and nationally, we need to help more low-income students go to college and earn a certificate or degree. There is a great opportunity now to create new policies that will significantly increase Arizona’s college access and attainment rates.
In the spirit of the Governor’s mission of doing the things that matter, we believe that enabling more Arizonans to earn a certificate or degree matters greatly. College Success Arizona has articulated the policy priorities we think are key to increasing college access and affordability in Arizona and to bringing us closer to meeting our statewide attainment goal—60 percent by 2030—set by Achieve60AZ. These priorities include:
- Closing information gaps that limit college-going culture
- Working to improve college affordability
- Increasing state financial aid
- Advocating for increased attainment statewide to drive economic growth
We stand ready to work with the Governor and other key leaders across the state to ensure that the Arizona of tomorrow remains strong.