Texas Tech's Effort To Keep Education Affordable Sets National Trend - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/4/08

Texas Tech's Effort To Keep Education Affordable Sets National Trend

Texas Tech makes national headlines again. However, this time it's for efforts to keep college education affordable by freezing tuition, fees and board.

According to a story posted late Wednesday night on USATODAY.com, universities in three other states have now done the same. It's a decision that some students say is keeping them Red Raiders.

Even before she walked on to Texas Tech's campus, Junior Holly Mee took steps to make college more affordable. She started her studies at New Mexico Junior College. "To get my basics out of the way and help cut tuition costs," Mee said.

Last spring, Mee transferred to Tech to study apparel design. But she says while education was the draw, money became the deal breaker. "I chose Texas Tech because of the price and it was near to home," Mee added.

Between rising gas prices, grocery prices and books, Mee says if tuition had increased, she would have to leave campus and no longer be a Red Raider. "A lot of our students that come from homes that make above $40,000 and below $100,000 to $120, 000 they're having difficult time paying tuition and fees," Chancellor Kent Hance said.

That's one of the reasons Hance asked the Board of Regents to freeze tuition, fees and board for the 2008-2009 school year. "We're trying to be cost effective with your dollars. We're trying to make sure that you're getting the best education for the amount of money you invest," Hance said.

The board approved the freeze in July. So, this year in state undergraduate students, like Mee, pay the same as last year about $7,000 for tuition and fees.

In addition, Hance says those numbers have caused phone calls from across the country. "A few presidents and a few chancellors talk to us and some were asking questions, how'd you do it? Some saying we're not making it easy for us," Hance said.

Mee added, "If it went any higher I wouldn't be able to stay at Texas Tech." 

Chancellor Hance says he hopes to keep tuition the same for next school year. But adds it will depend on how the upcoming budget process goes.

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