UTEP proposing three-point tuition increase for fall

EL PASO, Texas - A public forum hosted Wednesday afternoon at the University of Texas at El Paso discussed the possibility of raising tuition for the 2014-15 academic year.

Gary Edens, the Vice President for Student Affairs, presented to students, faculty and staff. The plan is being called three-point because it consists of three components.

  • 3 percent tuition and fees increase for fall 2014.
  • Expanding entering student fee for students admitted fall 2014 and beyond.
  • Implementing an excess hours tuition rate for students 30 credits or more past what's required for their degree.

The proposal being considered to be sent to the University of Texas System Board of Regents doesn't sit well with some students who were at the meeting.

"UTEP has the lowest net cost of any university in America," Edens said.

The three percent increase averages out to about 96 to 108 dollars more a semester for full-time undergraduate students. That's if those students are paying in-state tuition.

All students at UTEP now paid the entering student fee their first semester of studies. However, it was a one-time charge. Now, UTEP would like students admitted fall 2014 and beyond to continue paying that fee every semester.

As far as the excess hours tuition rate, UTEP is trying to urge students who have all the requirements for their degree to graduate and move on in the career field, rather than continuing to take courses. The fee would impact students who are 30 credit hours over in unnecessary courses for their diploma.

Edens put up bar graphs and percentages in the presentation showing not only how affordable he feels UTEP is, but how it compares to other colleges across Texas.

The decision will not be made until the UT Board of Regents votes. Proposals are sent to the board every two years, but increases are chosen per academic year, Edens said.

UTEP has roughly tripled its tuition since the Texas legislature started allowing public university systems to begin setting their own rates back in 2003.

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