Tuition Policy Advisory Committee Recommends Increases at The University of Texas at Austin

Nov. 14, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas — The Tuition Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), a panel of students, faculty and administrators at The University of Texas at Austin, has recommended to President William Powers Jr., average increases in cost of attendance of $318 per semester in 2008-09 and $303 in 2009-10.

Funds from the increases will be used to support student services, university-wide core academic needs, and activities and programs in the university’s colleges and schools, said Steven Leslie, executive vice president and provost and co-chair of the TPAC. They will support academic initiatives, merit salary increases for faculty and staff, facilities capital projects, and repair and renovation of existing buildings, he said.

TPAC Recommends Two-Year Increases
for 2008-09, 2009-10
 

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Attend Public Forums on TPAC Proposals

The TPAC will hold public forums at 3 p.m., Nov. 28 in the ACES Building, Avaya Auditorium, room 2.302, and 4 p.m., Nov. 29 in the Hogg Auditorium, and will make presentations to Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly on Nov. 27 and the Senate of College Councils on Nov. 29.

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View Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 TPAC presentations from public forums on tuition proposals [PowerPoint].

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Included in the proposal is a financial aid package, the UT Grant Program, aimed at mitigating increased tuition costs for lower-income families. The aid program covers families in annual income ranges from $0 to $80,000, and with this program those in the $0 to $40,000 range will be fully covered.

Costs in the university’s colleges and schools will vary. For example, a typical undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts would pay $4,167 per semester under the proposal. An undergraduate in the College of Natural Sciences would pay $4,330. The University of Texas at Austin combines tuition and fees, providing families with one total cost of attendance. Some institutions charge tuition, then add on costs through separate fees.

The TPAC noted that lack of funding from the state has placed a greater burden on tuition income to support university operations. State support for operational costs has increased only about 1.8 percent annually over the past decade, and that trend continued in the last legislative session.

“The level of state support for university operations really affects the amount of tuition increase needed,” said Andrew Solomon, Student Government president and TPAC member. “Yet again students and their families must be asked to pick up the shortfall in state funding if we want our university to continue to be one of the best public institutions in the nation.”

These recommendations mark the second time the university has set the total cost of education for a two-year period to allow families to better plan for their children’s education. The average increases for 2008-09 and 2009-10 are 7.8 percent and 6.9 percent. The average increases for the previous two-year period, 2006-07 and 2007-8, were 9.6 percent and 1.2 percent.

Powers said, “I appreciate the hard work and careful analysis the committee put in to develop this proposal. We will share this proposal with the university community and solicit opinions and ideas. As state support for the university has declined over the years, tuition has become an increasingly important component of the university’s operating budget. We have a process that gives this issue the thoughtful attention it deserves.

“The University of Texas at Austin prides itself on being annually noted by national publications as one of the best values in American higher education based on the high quality of its academic program and its relatively low cost. We remain among the best bargains among high-quality peer institutions nationally.”

The proposed increases are aimed at providing $64.6 million in 2008-09 and $56.4 million in 2009-10 to support essential university functions, including the hiring of additional faculty to reduce the university student/faculty ratio and providing merit salary increases for faculty and staff. The increases in the cost of education will provide $33 million of that total in the first year and $31.7 million in the second.

The TPAC will hold public forums at 3 p.m., Nov. 28 in the ACES Building, Avaya Auditorium, room 2.302, and 4 p.m., Nov. 29 in the Hogg Auditorium, and will make presentations to Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly on Nov. 27 and the Senate of College Councils on Nov. 29. The proposal will also be given to the executive committees of the Faculty Council and the Staff Council, the Texas Exes alumni organization and the university’s Parents’ Association. Powers is expected to submit his final tuition increase proposal to the University of Texas System Board of Regents in December.

“We continue to take aggressive actions to address and control costs,” said Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer. “All of our efforts are aimed at maintaining and enhancing the quality of the university and ensuring the value of a University of Texas at Austin degree for our students and alumni.”

TPAC membership:

Voting Members

  • Kevin P. Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer, co-chair
  • Steven W. Leslie, executive vice president and provost, co-chair
  • Yvette Garza, student representative at-large
  • Brian C. Gatten, Graduate Student Assembly representative
  • Roderick P. Hart, dean, College of Communication
  • Stephen L. Myers, Senate of College Councils representative
  • Victoria E. Rodriguez, vice provost and dean of graduate studies
  • Andrew C. Solomon, Student Government representative
  • Patricia A. Stout, chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets

Non-Voting Members

  • Stephen A. Monti, executive vice provost
  • Mary E. Knight, associate vice president and budget director
  • John D. Dollard, vice provost

For more information, contact: Office of Public Affairs, 512-471-3151.

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