Eugene Sander, president of the University of Arizona, discusses the honors college role in education.

Extra fees are helping some University of Arizona programs meet student needs at the same time as budget cuts, University of Arizona President Eugene Sander says.

Colleges try to keep their academic programs affordable, and he says a sometimes-controversial fee in the Honors College is what's been able to keep the program running.

"We feel that it's a great value that our students get for this additional fee," Sander says. "It's a good investment."

The fee was sold as urgent in 2010, Sander says, because budget cuts meant any financial decision was urgent.

UA Honors student Megan Reed says she was studying abroad when the Honors College fee was implemented, but she noticed changes when she returned.

The college expanded its international studies program, is offering more colloquium courses for freshmen and offering freshman research-intensive courses, she says.

"We think when a student has an opportunity to have the kind of experience that Megan has these past four years, it is urgent," Sander says.

Those extra programs cost money, but the University wouldn't do them if they didn't improve the educational experience, he says.

"The senior administration is also very careful in terms of allowing fees like that to go forward." Sander says.