Why Choose a Public College or University in Arizona?
Arizona's 29 public colleges and colleges and universities enroll more than 300,000 students. Why do students choose public colleges and universities? And what are the best public schools in Arizona?
Undergraduates choose public colleges and universities in Arizona for many reasons. Arizona residents qualify for in-state tuition discounts, which can save students thousands when earning a bachelor's degree. In addition to low costs, Arizona public colleges and universities offer scenic campuses and engaging campus cultures.
Arizona's public colleges and universities also offer diverse and top-ranked programs. Institutions like Arizona State University and the University of Arizona rank among the best public colleges in the country. The state's online colleges also offer hundreds of options for distance learners.
Thanks to the Western Undergraduate Exchange, students from 16 states and territories qualify for tuition discounts at Arizona's public institutions. Prospective students weighing how to choose the right college can find many options among Arizona's public colleges.
Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Arizona
Arizona's public colleges offer hundreds of majors and may have more diverse class and program offerings than private schools.In-state students qualify for tuition discounts at public four-year colleges in the state.The best public schools in Arizona offer multiple enrollment options, with robust online degree-granting programs.
Public colleges and universities typically enroll a larger student body than private schools, which can make it difficult to get the classes you want.Students attending public institutions may receive smaller financial aid packages than those attending private institutions.Students may have limited access to instructors at a public school due to large class sizes. Some students prefer to attend smaller schools that offer lower student-to-faculty ratios.
Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Arizona
Both nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities operate in Arizona. What's the difference between a nonprofit and for-profit college? Nonprofit colleges exist for the primary purpose of higher education and they do not aim to make a profit. For-profit colleges exist to make money for shareholders.
In Arizona, 26 schools operate as for-profit institutions, according to 2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). While a small number of students benefit from attending a for-profit institution, most students should choose a nonprofit college. These include public colleges and universities in Arizona as well as private nonprofit institutions.
How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Arizona?
Public colleges and universities in Arizona charge around $11,000 per year in in-state tuition and fees, according to 2019-2020 data from NCES. Students can also expect to spend about $7,600 for room and $5,335 for board at Arizona's four-year, public institutions.
Out-of-state students pay a higher tuition rate. The state's public institutions charge around $27,415 in out-of-state tuition. Private colleges and universities charge $12,895 in tuition and fees, on average. When paying for college, avoid the common misconception that only low-income students qualify for financial aid. Make sure to submit the FAFSA and research scholarships.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Arizona
How many public colleges and universities are there in Arizona?
Arizona has 29 public colleges and universities. The state's public colleges include large research institutions like the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. The University of Arizona enrolled around 47,000 students in fall 2021 and offers affordable tuition rates for a prestigious degree.
Arizona State University enrolled around 77,000 students in fall 2021 and offers one of the largest online programs in the country. The state's other public institutions include two-year and four-year colleges with smaller campuses. Students can find many options depending on their budget and needs.
What is the most expensive public college or university in Arizona?
College represents a major financial investment. What are the most expensive public colleges and universities in Arizona? Many public colleges in Arizona cost around the same amount. For example, University of Arizona students paid $12,736 in tuition and fees in 2021-2022. Arizona State University tuition cost $11,348 that same year, while Northern Arizona University cost $11,896.
Arizona's private colleges and universities charge higher tuition rates than the public institutions. For example, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University charged almost $39,000 in tuition and fees in 2021-2022. Prescott College charged about $34,700 that year.
What is the least expensive public college or university in Arizona?
While public colleges and universities in Arizona charge an average tuition rate of around $11,000 per year, one public college charges significantly less. Dine College in Tsaile holds the title of the state's most affordable public college.
Dine College, the country's first tribally controlled and accredited college, charged just $1,410 in tuition and fees in 2021-2022. Administered by the Navajo Nation, Dine College enrolls a primarily Navajo student body.
What is the biggest public college or university in Arizona?
Arizona State University is the biggest public institution in Arizona. The school enrolled around 77,000 students in fall of 2021. In addition, around 57,000 students currently enroll in classes through ASU Online. The school's online program includes undergraduate and graduate degree-granting programs.
In comparison, the next largest public institution in Arizona, the University of Arizona, enrolls 47,000 students. Both of these public institutions rank among the largest in the country. They also rank highly for academic quality and reputation.
Is a public college or university right for me?
The decision of whether to attend a public or private school can be very personal. For many students, public institutions offer the best value. Public college tuition generally costs much less than private tuition for in-state students.
Public colleges and universities typically enroll larger student bodies than private schools. Some students prefer a larger college with more academic departments and degree options. Other students benefit from a smaller environment.
Public schools receive funding from the state government, and as a result they do not have religious affiliations. Some students prefer to attend a religious college. In 2019, nearly 15 million of the country's 20 million college students enrolled at a public institution.