I sent this message to members of the campus community yesterday:
I want to share with you my recommendation to the UT System and the Board of Regents regarding tuition policy for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. The Tuition Policy Advisory Committee recommended an average increase for resident undergraduate and graduate tuition of 3.95%, which has been widely reported and discussed in forums on the campus. My recommendation to the System follows the TPAC proposal to implement a 3.95% tuition increase and the $65 per semester fee approved by student referendum in 2006 to fund the new Student Activity Center. The TPAC report also includes non-resident undergraduate, graduate, and professional program tuition rates, far more details than I can share in this message.
The economy is challenging all of us–students, parents, alumni, donors, and institutions. No one welcomes a tuition increase in this environment. I understand that some families are struggling to keep up, and even a 3.95% tuition increase seems like too much. For these families, I remind them to explore the many financial aid options on our campus. In addition, 20% of the resident undergraduate tuition increase will be devoted to resident undergraduate financial aid, and 15% of the resident graduate and professional student tuition increase will be used for resident financial aid.
We raise tuition reluctantly and out of necessity. UT is not alone in this situation. The media have reported plans for tuition increases in many states, including a 7.5% increase at the University of Minnesota, at least a 9% increase at the University of Illinois, and a 32% increase at the University of California System.
UT remains a good value. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine recently ranked UT 25th among the 100 best values in public universities. The magazine evaluated more than 500 public colleges and universities. Nevertheless, we know that the cost of an education is a burden for many students and their families, and we are doing everything we can to control our costs, increase our efficiency, and keep the University affordable.