Student would pay same during all four years
Guaranteed tuition for Texas college students is among several proposals that could become a hot topic in Austin this year. House Bill 29 would require all 38 public universities in Texas to offer a fixed tuition to students for all four years – so far just UT Dallas and UT El Paso offer such a deal.
But schools fear more funding cuts, so Dominic Chavez at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board says the group is instead pushing lawmakers to re-invest in higher education.
“We're requesting an eight percent increase in monies that actually go to universities and community colleges this next two years,” says Chavez. “We're also asking those schools to become more cost-efficient and cost-effective so we can bend the cost curve for students and taxpayers.”
The THEC also wants the Legislature to increase funding to the Texas Grant Program by $127 million.
At the same time, Chavez says students share some responsibility for keeping costs down by graduating on time.
“The worst debt to have is debt that didn't get you anything, like no degree,” he says. “Also the worst debt to have is take more classes than are required and longer than required and increase your debt principle.”
Governor Perry has been pushing a tuition freeze since 2009, but UT Dallas and UT El Paso however, report a lack of interest in the program due mainly to demographics and financial ability.
A Perry spokeswoman said the governor is confident that concerns about fixed-rate tuition “can be resolved in a manner that upholds the goal of promoting predictability and affordability of tuition at our higher education institutions.”