University to increase designated tuition

Commerce – Texas A&M University-Commerce will increase the designated tuition by $10 per semester hour for FY 2010.

The increase follows last week's decision by the A&M System Board of Regents to cap increases in tuition and mandatory fees at all system universities to either 4 percent of FY 2009 rates, or $150 per semester, whichever is greater.

The fall 2008 average tuition at A&M-Commerce ranked second lowest within the A&M System at $2,585, and the lowest among area competing universities. The average tuition cost for competing institutions is above $3,000.

President Dan Jones Wednesday also informed faculty and staff of intentions to roll course fees into designated tuition, a possible change in those course fees, an increase in graduate fees and student services fee.

The revised assumptions for next year are as follows.

1. The University will increase designated tuition by $10 per semester hour. This provides maximum flexibility for the University and provides the largest amount possible under the cap for financial aid set-asides.

2. The proposed library fee increase of $2 per semester hour will be deferred until a future fee-setting cycle.

3. The university will not eliminate course fees and roll them into designated tuition, as hoped.

4. Because course fees are not being eliminating, A&M-Commerce will consider requests for changes in course fees. Interim Provost Dr. Gary Peer is working with the academic deans and has already established a process for submitting these requests.

5. As of Wednesday, A&M-Commerce is working under the assumption that the following fees have been approved by the Board, since they are not affected by the $150 cap:
a. Increase in graduate tuition differential of $10 per semester credit hour;
b. New program delivery fee of $10 per semester credit hour, to apply only to courses taken at off-campus sites, with revenue to be used to help offset expenses associated with remote-site delivery;
c. Increase in graduation application fee (from $20 to $40), and graduation re-application fee (from $2 to $40);
d. New international student administration fee ($40 long semesters, $20 summers), charged only to international students, with revenue to be used to fund administrative costs related to visa processing, the SEVIS system, and other services required by international students and/or related to Homeland Security compliance; and,
e. Increase in the student services fee of $2, previously approved by a student referendum.

Dr. Jones expressed his confidence in the adoption of the FY 2010 fee structure; however pending legislation could still affect the university's rates.

The fee structure will also preserve key University priorities, including a 3 percent merit pool and sustaining funding for the Honors College, among others.

Dr. Jones gave thanks to those who had helped in the budget process this year, especially the members of the Budget Review and Development Council, who devoted many hours to analyzing the budget so as to make well-informed recommendations on tuition and fee rates.