For the second time in two years, tuition is going up at the University of Texas. On Monday, the UT System Board of Regents unanimously approved a tuition hike over the next two years at all eight of the system’s campuses. The increases will vary by campus, ranging from 0.1 percent at UT-San Antonio to 8.5 percent at UT-Permian Basin. The flagship UT-Austin campus will see a 2 percent increase---about $200 per year for the average undergraduate student. UT regents previously approved tuition increases in February 2016.
At Monday's Board of Regents meeting, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. Steven Leslie explained why the tuition hikes are necessary. "New tuition and fee revenue will allow for new investments in student success that will help students graduate, gain employment and contribute to the Texas and regional economies," he said. "They will also help to support the faculty and staff who provide high-quality teaching and world-class research."
Dr. Leslie also cited financial pressures to maintaining UT's educational standards, including inflation and a drop in state funding for higher education over the past several years. "It's not specific to Texas...this is happening around the country, that state appropriations are declining in terms of supporting institutions of higher education, and as a consequence state tuition increases are happening in order to offset those decreases in state appropriations," he told regents.
The Board of Regents notes that even after the new increases are implemented, UT schools will still be among the most affordable in Texas when compared with other public universities. However, the issue of funding may be just beginning, as recent studies have shown a decline in college attendance as higher education costs continue to soar.