With rising costs, a sluggish economy and an uncertain future, many students are worrying about how they will afford a college education. Chancellor Mike McKinney and A&M System university presidents understand students’ concerns and have been working together to alleviate some of their fears by reigning in the cost of tuition and fees.
At the May Board of Regents meeting, Chancellor McKinney and A&M System CEOs rededicated themselves to helping ease the financial burden for students and parents by committing to keep tuition increases at the 11 universities and health science center to a minimum.
In keeping with the state legislature’s request last session for university boards of regents to limit tuition increases to 3.95 percent per year, all A&M System CEOs requested tuition increases at or below the 3.95 percent threshold.
Upon request of Chancellor McKinney, the Board of Regents also instructed the universities to hold tuition flat for two years with no additional increase for school year 2011-2012. “We don’t know how the economy will be doing by then,” McKinney said, “but we must assure students and parents that the same high quality A&M System education will remain within their financial reach. Rising tuition will not slow your progress to a degree.”
In addition to keeping tuition and fee increases to a minimum, A&M System universities are implementing other plans to ease the financial hardship. Several universities, including Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, and Tarleton State University will launch textbook rental programs this fall, which allow students to rent their textbooks for about half the purchase price. Texas A&M-San Antonio also will offer some e-books for download, saving both money and paper.
All system universities and agencies also are trimming their costs by planning for budget reductions of up to 10 percent in the next biennium, in addition to the 5 percent already put in place this year.
“We will remain focused on meeting the educational needs of our students through these hard economic times,” said McKinney