Texas Tech students will have to pay a little more for their education this fall. That's after the Board of Regents approved a 5.9 percent tuition increase Thursday afternoon in Dallas. KCBD NewsChannel 11 was in Dallas for the meeting
Students taking 15 hours each semester will pay $500 more this year compared to last year. School officials say one of the biggest reasons for the hike is because they are receiving less financial support from the state.
In the meeting, school officials said in 2001, the state funded about 45 percent of the cost of education. Ten years later in a down economy, the university is only receiving one-third of its support from the state.
The cost of tuition at Texas Tech this fall was in the hands of nine regents. All but one regent, John Steinmetz, voted to approve the increase. "I just didn't feel like it was the right time based on the current economic environment," said Steinmetz. He was particularly concerned about the unemployment rate after graduation and the debt students take on through loans.
Texas Tech President Guy Bailey said loosing around $67 million in financial support from the state over the next two years would have been hard to handle without hurting educational opportunities.
"We won't have to reduce faculty. We won't have to reduce classes. The thing we can do is proceed to graduation in a timely manner," said Bailey.
By raising tuition, the university hopes to generate close to $9 million to offset the state cuts, enrollment growth and other increases. Officials also raised fees in other areas. Law school tuition will go up $100 per credit hour. Housing rates will rise 4.66 percent and dining costs will rise a 3.33 percent.
Officials say those fees will go up due to increasing costs and renovations.
"This was not in my opinion the right time but I respect the board's ultimate conclusion and will continue to push forward and ensure the dollars are spent in a way that betters the overall education that we provide at Texas Tech," said Steinmetz.
Bailey said he expects the school to continue to make significant gains in the quality of education and still be affordable. Even with hikes, he says school will be the second most affordable in the Big 12.
"With the significant growth and efficiencies in productivity with some tuition increase we think the quality of education at Texas Tech will be as strong as ever," said Bailey.
The board also voted to increase tuition and fees at Angelo State by 9.9 percent.