PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows Arizona’s community colleges to offer limited four-year college degrees.
Before this legislation, the community colleges have only offered two-year degree programs and professional certifications.
Arizona now joins 23 other states that allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees under limited prescribed circumstances.
Senate Bill 1453 will take effect this fall and requires detailed internal and external processes, including becoming nationally accredited.
The Maricopa Community Colleges plan to begin enrolling students in their baccalaureate degree programs as early as fall 2023.
Critics have argued for years about the cost for residents to get four-year degrees at Arizona’s three public universities.
The average in-state tuition at Arizona State University is between $9,000 and $12,000.
At Maricopa County Community College, tuition for the first two years is capped at $1,020 a semester for 15 credit hours.
The bill allows for a tuition increase of 150% for the last two years or a little more than $3,000 a semester.