Tuition to remain flat for fall 2015

Josh Willis

For the fall 2015 semester, students will not see an increase in tuition, despite requests from the University administration, according to a report from the Office of Financial Affairs.

Tuition at UT is set to remain the same as levels in 2014, according to UT Chief Financial Officer Mary Knight. Traditional tuition for fall 2015 will be $4,905 for in-state and $17,360 for out-of-state students per semester. The optional fixed tuition rate, which gives students the option to pay one rate for all four years as an undergraduate, will be $5,291 for in-state and $18,275 for out-of-state students per semester. 

Legislative student bodies held public forums in fall 2013 to gauge student opinion on proposed tuition increases, Knight said. After student leaders and the University administration agreed on a proposal, it was sent to the Office of the Chancellor from the president. The chancellor brought the proposal before the UT System Board of Regents for deliberation.

The UT System Board of Regents voted to adopt a tuition plan in 2013 that covered tuition from fall 2014 through spring 2016, according to a meeting agenda from the Board of Regents.

Knight said the Board of Regents approved tuition increases that began in fall 2014 but decided against increasing tuition again for fall 2015.

“It’s in the Board of Regent’s hands, and last spring, the Board of Regents approved some increases for one year only, but they did not address the fall of 2015, so we are keeping the rates the same as the fall of 2014,” Knight said. “There were some [increases] that had been proposed, but the board did not address them in the spring of 2014, so none of those were officially approved.”

Kathleen Corder, exercise science and allied health profession sophomore, said she is glad the cost of tuition isn’t increasing.

“We’re already paying so much and as students, everything costs money, and we’re all broke, so saving just a little bit of money and not having the increase [in tuition] is good,” Corder said.

Chemistry senior Robert Wayne Jr. said the lower tuition at UT keeps the door open for hardworking students.

“It’s fantastic to keep it cheap because you want to keep the University competitive,” Wayne said. “Students receive all sorts of grants, and it allows them to put money toward something else, some other aspect of their life.”

UT System Chancellor William McRaven has voiced his support for affordability but warned that UT System institutions must balance price with the quality of education.

“This is a balancing act — to make education as affordable as can be but still as high quality as it can be,” McRaven said. “Frankly, the students that are looking for a high-quality education, if they don’t think that we’re giving them a high enough quality education, they will go outside the state.”

During the 1970s, nearly 85 percent of UT’s operating costs came from a budget appropriated by the state Legislature, according to a statement on the UT website. Today, however, the State provides for less than 20 percent of educational operations at UT.