Board of Regents approve tuition increase proposals to support student success

AUSTIN—The University of Texas System Board of Regents today approved two-year tuition increases submitted by all academic UT institutions to provide them with critically needed revenue to boost student success, including an emphasis on increasing graduation rates and recruiting and retaining top faculty.

The approved increases, to be instituted in the fall of 2018, range from $6 to $306 per semester for in-state undergraduate tuition, depending on the institution, followed by increases of $100 to $300 per semester in the fall of 2019.

As part of the Board’s consideration, it required tuition proposals from all eight UT academic institutions to include detailed plans for how the increased revenue would directly support student and faculty excellence. Each institution was also required to gather substantial input from students and the local community on the impact of tuition increases as it developed its proposal.

“My colleagues on the Board of Regents and I appreciate the careful review process followed by the institutions to make sure students will be direct beneficiaries of the proposed tuition increases.  We are committed to ensuring that a UT education remains one of the best values in higher education,” said Board Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker.

“Every UT institution continues to implement measures to offset the rising costs of operations and reductions in other funding sources, and they have made every effort possible to avoid increasing tuition,” Chancellor William McRaven said. “We are very sympathetic to the fact that students and their parents work hard to find the means to support their education, and we want to ensure that students have the best possible educational experience. As UT institutions strive to improve graduation rates and recruit and retain top faculty, they need additional revenue.”

Even with the approved increases, students who receive financial assistance, on average, will see little to no increase in their out of pocket tuition and fee expenses. In 2016, among full-time resident students who received financial aid, UT academic institutions covered 100 percent of tuition and fees for students from families making less than $60,000 per year and approximately 90 percent of tuition and fees for students from families earning $60,000 to $80,000.

Institutions asking for the highest percentage increases – including UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, and UT Tyler – currently have tuition rates less than $4,000 per semester, still placing them among the most affordable in Texas and significantly lower than peer institutions across the nation.

For the first time, UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, UT Rio Grande Valley, UT San Antonio and UT Tyler will charge “differential” tuition based on a student’s major. Programs that cost more to operate, such as business and engineering, typically charge higher tuition rates. UT Arlington, UT Austin and UT Dallas already have differential tuition programs in place.

Even with tuition increases, UT Austin, the state’s flagship university and top-ranked public research institution, will still cost less than several other Texas public universities.  Tuition at UT Austin ranked eighth when compared with other public universities in Texas, according to 2016 data provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  UT Austin continues to be ranked nationally by Kiplinger, Forbes and The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best values in higher education.

Tuition proposals for out-of-state students, graduate and professional students were also approved by the Regents.

In addition, the System’s six health science institutions received authorization for their respective five-year tuition plans, with the vast majority of increases for health profession programs averaging less than 5 percent per year.

Currently, tuition for health profession programs is among the lowest in the country. For example, medical school tuition costs less than two-thirds of the national average for public medical schools. Similarly, the debt burden for graduates of UT medical schools is a quarter lower than the national average. 

The UT System Board of Regents last approved tuition increases for academic and health institutions in February 2016. Prior to that, most UT in-state undergraduate students had seen little to no increase in tuition since the fall of 2012.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and a projected enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, funded in part by $3.6 billion in sponsored programs from federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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