Will Lawmakers Solve Texas' Rising Tuition Problem?

Sep 24, 2012

AUSTIN - A decade after Texas lawmakers deregulated tuition, college costs at state universities have risen 55 percent, according to a newspaper analysis.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the average state resident pays more than $7,500 in tuition and fees in a typical semester. Before deregulation, average tuition hovered around $4,000.

Research shows the University of Texas at Dallas is the most expensive. There, the average student pays more than $11,500 for an entire academic year. At Texas A&M University-Texarkana, that figure is roughly $5,000.

In an address at UT in Austin, Gov. Rick Perry called for incoming freshman on Texas campuses to be able to lock in tuition rates for four years, guarding them against price hikes before graduating. 

“It makes sense to tell incoming freshmen: Here’s what your tuition is going to be,” Perry said.

The Legislature will likely look at the idea when it convenes in January.

Locally, students attending Texas A&M University-Commerce are paying $10 more per semester credit hour than they were in the spring, following approval this summer of a tuition increase by the A&M System Board of Regents. At Paris Junior College, in and out-of-district students are paying $3 more per semester credit hour, while out-of-state students are paying $5 more.

In May, the Texas Tribune compiled a list of the average annual tuition and fees at Texas' public universities.