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TSUS Board of Regents finance officials discuss benefits, drawbacks of possible tuition freeze

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 13:11

Officials in the finance meeting of the Texas State University System Board of Regents quarterly meeting Thursday discussed the opportunity for the eight universities inside the system to have locked four-year tuition prices, meaning that tuition is guaranteed not to change for four-year students.

However, fixed tuition rates would not lower tuition. In fact, it would be raised by 18 percent, according to the finance board.

“Even the governor has acknowledged that this is not a cost-savings to the students,” said Bill Nance, VP of finance and support services at Texas State University-San Marcos. “He’s acknowledged that it cost more, but somebody is willing to pay more for the certainty of knowing what it’s going to be for four years.”

When asked by a fellow board member why this tuition-raising opportunity was being put on the table in the midst of students wanting lower tuition, Nance decline to comment.

Some students at Sam Houston State University disagreed with the possibility of a tuition freeze. 

 “I probably wouldn’t agree with it,” Christian Pratt, sophomore art major, said. “The way I set my classes up, I tend to make it so I can pay as little as possible. If they had a set tuition I’d probably be paying more overall.”

The plan won’t go into effect soon, since it’s still in its infant stages as a program. While the plan would raise tuition, it would help create stability for some families.  

“I think for later generations it could be beneficial because with the way the economy is, families  are tight [for money] and if they knew what they were going to pay upfront for four years it would be easier to prepare,” said Pratt.

According to a report published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the plan was offered in the Texas University System’s University of Texas in Dallas for the first time in 2007, but saw complications in convincing parents and students to sign on to the idea. UTD’s Vince President for Enrollment Management said that they offered the plan in order to “provide simplicity, predictability, and clarity for our students.”

This is not the case for TSUS, according to Nance.

“If you’re looking for a reduction in complexity, this isn’t it,” he said.

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