Public higher education in Texas, and at UT, is still a great value. Our tuition is eighth among our 12-member national comparison group. The average amount of student debt is relatively low, and we continue to be listed as a good value by Kiplinger's and other publications.

—William Powers Jr.

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History of Tuition Deregulation

Tuition deregulation has granted tuition-setting authority, formerly in the hands of the Texas State Legislature, to governing boards of public colleges and universities. The earliest mention of tuition deregulation came in 1984 but did not result in any bills. Under House Bill 3015, the Legislature granted tuition-setting authority to public university governing boards in 2003.

In response, The University of Texas at Austin established the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), a committee consisting of four students and five members of the faculty and/or administration, as the principal mechanism for developing future tuition policy.

Acting on the success of a pilot program initiated by the president, TPAC proposed a flat rate tuition structure, which encourages undergraduate students to increase their course loads and reduce their time to graduation. This reduces the total education costs for students and their families and also allows for increased access to the university.