The Texas State University System Board of Regents voted to require its four-year universities to offer a fixed-rate tuition program to students in order to provide more predictability when paying for college.
The program was unanimously approved during a the regents’ meeting Monday and will be available for freshmen enrolled starting in the fall 2014 semester, according to a press release from the system. The program will set a four-year, fixed-rate for student tuition. Fees and course charges that exist when a student applies for the program will stay in place for all four years.
“The goal isn’t to reduce cost,” said Mike Wintemute, spokesman for the system. “We want to create some predictability for students and parents and give students one more option and more flexibility.”
Wintemute said Gov. Rick Perry has expressed his desire for this kind of program, and the Board of Regents thought now would be a good time for its universities to be “proactive.”
The system’s four-year universities will draft proposals regarding their respective fixed-rate programs during the November Board of Regents meeting. The proposals will include an academic progress requirement, which will encourage students to keep good grades and finish their degrees within the four years of the plan, Wintemute said. Each university will determine specific details about the progress requirement individually.
Wintemute said students aren’t required to apply for the program. They can still pay tuition in the traditional fashion, which has been 15 percent below the state average at the Texas State University System, according to Wintemute.
Possible fee increases during students’ education are accounted for when they apply for the plan. Their tuition will be higher than the standard undergraduate cost during the first year, Wintemute said. However, the regents are under the assumption that costs will even out over the course of four years.