Regents OK tuition hike

TEXAS TECH — In order to fund the state mandated pay raises for Texas Tech staff and administrative faculty, the Board of Regents on Thursday responded to actions taken by the 77th Legislature by implementing a mandated tuition increase and raise in the Student Recreation fee.

House Bill 2531 authorized institutions to raise both state and institutional tuition by $2 per credit hour beginnning this fall.

That will raise Tech’s tuition per credit hour from $40 to $42.

Tech President David Schmidly said the tuition hike was approved to keep up with inflation and because of a 4 percent increase in some faculty members’ merit-based pay.

“We had to put together a budget that would allow us to give the faculty a raise,” Schmidly said. “The only way we could do that was increase our tuition.”

Schmidly said he hopes that students and parents don’t get upset about the increase.

He said the main reason Tech is raising tuition is to put the additional funding toward achieving a quality faculty and successful scholarship programs to recruit the best student body possible.

The new recreation fee has the students paying one fee of $55 rather than separating the construction and student service fee similar to last year’s plan.

Plus, each credit hour fee for the recreational center has been reduced from $11.95 to $9.65.

In a nutshell, the student service fee will be lowered by $30 per semester.

“We have tried very hard to be frugal with our budget,” Schmidly said. “We are pinching any penny we can here.”

“I hope students and parents will accept it when they look at what we will do with it,” Schmidly said.

Deputy Chancellor Jim Crowson said he hopes the students and parents understand that all the major universities are increasing tuition.

“It is necessary to do this because Tech is growing and getting better,” Crowson said. “UT, A&M and even the University of Houston are doing this.”

A full time student that took 30 hours last year paid $2,400 for tuition.

Next year that amount will increase by 5 percent to $2,520.

The rise in past tuition levels was on a 10-year cycle.

Now, to review it earlier, legislation decided to change it to a 5-year cycle.

Crowson said they might be doing that because maybe the state legislators will pitch in more money to make the tuition decrease in Texas.

“That would be extremely satisfactory,” Crowson said. “I am not saying it will happen, but if it did it would take burden off the students.”

Schmidly said a decrease in tuition is a possibility, but he wouldn’t bet on it.

“That certainly could happen,” he said. But the Red Raider president said he wouldn’t count on it.

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