The state, once a primary source of funding, now supplies a small fraction of public university budgets — about 14 percent at The University of Texas at Austin this year. Three decades ago, in 1981, state support amounted to 52 percent of our budget.

—William Powers Jr.

Where the Money Comes From

The University of Texas at Austin relies on a number of sources of income. A combination of tuition, endowments, state funding and research grants allows the university to provide a first-rate education for its students and maintain a research enterprise that creates new knowledge and fuels economic development.

Watch Video: Budget 101: Introduction (1:32)

Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hegarty provides an inside look at the university's finances.

Watch Video: Where the Money Comes From (2:57)

Learn about which sources provide what funding for the university's budget.


Tuition and state appropriations combine to pay for the core operational costs of The University of Texas at Austin, one of the world’s great research universities. Tuition plays an integral part in the university’s mission by helping it hire more faculty to maintain reasonable class sizes, retain faculty and support staff through merit pay increases and expand existing academic programs and initiate new ones.

Tuition Dollars & Sense

Explore more information about tuition at The University of Texas at Austin:

  1. How Tuition Is Set: Learn about the two committees that make tuition recommendations to the president.

  2. Tuition Costs: Learn about tuition rates for the current academic year, as well as tuition rebates, historical tuition costs, the cost of tuition nationally and more.

  3. How Tuition Is Used: Learn where your tuition dollars go.

Read the Office of the President's 2009 Report on Tuition (PDF, download Adobe Reader).

Endowments & Philanthropy

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) was established in 1876 by the Texas Constitution to provide resources to the university. The PUF is funded by the sale of oil, gas, sulfur and water royalties and rentals on mineral and grazing leases.

These proceeds are invested and the return on that investment is known as the Available University Fund (AUF). Over many years the fund has been diluted and is now disbursed to 18 institutions and six agencies.

Watch Video: How the PUF and AUF Work (2:01)

Learn what the PUF and AUF mean for the university's budget.

The University of Texas at Austin’s share for fiscal 2010-11 was $158 million recurring out of the university’s total budget of $2.24 billion — 7 percent of the university’s overall budget.

The university also has many other endowments, thanks to the generosity of donors. Most of these endowments are dedicated to specific purposes such as scholarships and the support of faculty studying particular disciplines.

Other gifts are made for specific purposes, such as GeoFORCE Texas, a program to inspire kindergarten through 12th-grade students to become the next generation of earth scientists, or the building of a modern computer science building.

State Funding

In the 1984-85 fiscal year, the State of Texas provided 47 percent of the university’s total budget. For the 2010-11 fiscal year it has dropped to 14 percent.

In 2003, the Texas State Legislature granted state universities the authority to set their own tuition, and while tuition is now 25 percent of the budget compared to 5 percent in 1984-85, the combination of state support and tuition is only 38 percent of the overall budget.