Public Forum on Tuition Policy Advisory Committee Recommendations to be Held Wednesday, Jan. 20

A public forum to discuss recommendations from the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee and receive comments about a proposed tuition increase will be held from 5:30-7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the Avaya Auditorium of the ACES Building at The University of Texas at Austin.

The forum for students, faculty, staff, parents and the public will review the committee's recommendation for a tuition increase of 3.95 percent per year for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years for all undergraduate and graduate student programs to avoid budget cuts that would jeopardize the university's quality of education and level of student services.

A second public hearing is scheduled on Jan. 26, from 1-2:30 p.m. in ACES Bldg. 2.302 (Avaya Auditorium).

The Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, a panel of students, faculty and administrators, said the increases are essential to enable the university to remain one of the nation's premier institutions of higher education and pursue its goal of being one of the best public institutions in the nation.

The committee said another factor to include in the total cost of education is a new fee of $65 per semester beginning in 2010-11 that was approved by about 70 percent of the vote in a 2006 student-wide referendum to pay for a Student Activity Center now being built. The combined effect is to increase the weighted average per semester "total cost of education" for a resident undergraduate student by $241 (5.4 percent) to $4,709 in 2010-11 and by $186 (3.95 percent) to $4,895 in 2011-12. For a resident graduate student, it is an increase of $218 (5.62 percent) to $4,100 in 2010-11, and by $162 (3.95 percent) to $4,262 in 2011-12.

In its recommendations, the committee said the monies generated from increasing tuition would provide the university about $17.2 million in 2010-11 and $18.1 million in 2010-11 after deducting the legally required set-aside for additional student financial aid.

During the fall semester, the committee gathered data, studied the financial needs of the university and created a tuition recommendation for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years, which it delivered to William Powers Jr., president of the university. These recommendations may be found online. The committee will review its recommendations, then take questions and feedback from the audience. Powers plans to be in the forum audience. He will submit his final tuition increase proposal to the University of Texas System Board of Regents by Jan. 31, 2010.

A live Web stream of the forum will be available on the tuition Web site.