Murano Vows to Keep Tuition Rates as Low as Possible

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To cover rising costs at Texas A&M, President Elsa Murano was told a $20 increase per semester credit hour would be needed.

But at Wednesday afternoon's public hearing on tuition, Murano said that was an unacceptable hike.

The president says her administration will work to make internal reallocations over the next few months. As a result, her proposed tuition increase is between $10 and $16 per credit hour.

The final number will be determined at a later date, with approval from the A&M System Board of Regents required.

"As a land grant university, it is our mission to educate the masses, and so that means qualified students that can get into A&M need to be able to afford this," said Murano.

Student fees are also on the rise, much of it due to the fee for the huge student center project, which students approved in an election last fall.

An additional $60 will be added to the student center fee. In total, mandatory student fees will increase nearly 11 percent, but A&M officials note that if you take the additional student center complex fee out of the equation, the increase is around 6.5 percent, which they say is a normal increase.

If $10 is the tuition increase per semester credit hour, then when you add the mandatory fees, a 15-hour course load would cost an Aggie $3,963.05, an 8.1 percent increase.

If the increase in tuition is $16, then a 15-hour semester course load would cost $4,053.05, a 10.5 percent bump up.

Also of note, after three years of discussion, the university has a school with differential tuition for the first time.

The concept allows certain schools to add charges for its students based on specific needs.

In this case, A&M's Mays Business School has had its request for a new charge approved. It is, again, subject to Board of Regents' approval.

Mays was approved for a $610 charge for its fall semester and a $610 charge for its spring semester. Only junior and senior business majors would be charged, and there would be no charge for the summer semester.

The charge will go towards making new faculty hires for the school, which university officials say has a poor student-to-faculty ratio in their eyes. Mays will be monitored closely to ensure the new charge is being applied properly.

A&M only accepted one request for differential tuition as a test run of sorts. The architecture, education and engineering schools had made requests and were endorsed by A&M's Tuition Policy Adviory Council, as was the business school's.

A request by the College of Liberal Arts was not endorsed by TPAC.

You'll find a link to President Murano's presentation on the proposed tuition and fees for Fall 2008 by clicking below this story.