Tuition On The Rise Three Years After Deregulation

Nearly 40 percent, that's how much tuition and fees at state-supported universities have gone up, on average, since deregulation three years ago.

In 2003 the Texas legislature gave college governing boards the authority to set their own tuition rates.
And while tuition has gone up 39 percent, student financial aid has increased only 15 percent.

"It's really not a great thing," Texas A&M student Taylor Gondeck said. "They're raising it so you have to get more financial aid, if they want to give it to you."

Since 2003 tuition statewide has gone up on average 39 percent.

In 2003, Governor Rick Perry and most lawmakers endorsed the so-called tuition-deregulation law allowing universities to set their own tuition and fees.

For Texas A&M deregulation has allowed the university to keep up with the higher cost of living.

"The university as a whole has had costs increase like any business, and so that's to take care of costs that we would incur," Delisa Falks said.

In the 2004-2005 school year, one credit hour cost $74.50. Currently it's up to $95.70
Tuition and fees at Texas A&M have gone up 49 percent in three years.

And Texas A&M isn't the only school raising costs.

Tuition and fees at The University of Texas at Austin have increased 47 percent since the fall of 2003.
At the University of Houston's main campus they've increased 49 percent.

These cost hikes have three of Governor Perry's four re-election opponents calling to end tuition deregulation.
It's a decision that some say could hurt state schools.

"If they wanted to go down or go back to what the state charges or set a minimum it would make a difference," Falks said. "Budgets would be done differently and less services could be offered."

Despite the rise in costs, Texas A&M says they are still a bargain school.

Government also required institutions to set aside part of the higher tuition to be used for financial aid.
Statewide that assistance has only risen 15 percent.
Texas A&M says it has set aside more than 15 percent.


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