The Tuition Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) at The University of Texas at Austin has recommended raising in-state student tuition by 2.6 percent for each of the next two years, a move supporting a priority by The University of Texas System Board of Regents to improve four-year graduation rates.
The TPAC, a panel of students, faculty members and administrators, delivered its 14-page report (PDF) to President Bill Powers on Monday, Nov. 28, with recommendations for the two-year period, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. Powers is expected to review the TPAC recommendations and submit his final tuition increase proposal to The University of Texas System Board of Regents by Dec. 15, 2011.
The report makes recommendations for three categories of students:
- Texas resident undergraduate students would see a tuition increase of 2.6 percent each year. The weighted average per semester Total Academic Costs for a full-time student would rise by $127 to $5,023 in 2012-13 and by $131 to $5,154 in 2013-14.
- Nonresident undergraduate students for 2012-13 and 2013-14 would see a tuition increase of 3.6 percent each year.
- All graduate students for 2012-13 and 2013-14 would see a tuition increase of 3.6 percent each year. For the average resident graduate student taking nine semester credit hours (full time) tuition would increase $155 to $4,447 in 2012-13 and $160 to $4,607 in 2013-14.
The committee has held two public forums on campus this fall and has scheduled a final forum for Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m. in ACES Avaya Auditorium to discus the recommendations and receive comments. The TPAC recommendations may be viewed online at the Tuition Dollars and Sense website.
If enacted, the recommended tuition increases would gross an additional $17.3 million in 2012-13 and $17.8 million in 2013-14.
After deductions for the state-mandated financial set-aside, these increases would provide the university about $15.1 million in 2012-13 and about $15.5 million in 2013-14 for education and general use in achieving the university's academic mission. The committee determined that a modest tuition increase is justified and necessary to maintain the basic core services and make progress toward improving four-year graduation rates.
The TPAC report found that The University of Texas at Austin must be funded at a level competitive with its peers to remain a premier institution of higher education and move toward its goal of being one of the best public institutions in the nation, as well as toward the president's goal of improving four-year graduation rates.
"If this is not achieved," the report said, "the university will face a steady decline in educational quality due to its inability to recruit and retain talent."
The committee concluded that such a decline is not acceptable to the students, faculty and staff of the university, nor is it in the best interest of the people of Texas.