SGA sets 2011 tuition proposal
The Student Government Association presented a proposal to the Tuition and Fee Advisory Committee during the Dec. meeting which called for a 5 percent cap on tuition increase and an efficiency task force to be created.
The SGA tuition and fee task force came up with the proposal, after meeting with other SGA leaders and former members.
SGA Vice President Prince Wilson said the 5 percent cap on tuition and fee increase is to ensure that it won’t go any higher than that over the next two years.
“Either it is 3 (percent increase) in one and a 2 (percent increase) in the second year; it will not give us a scenario similar to University of California with a huge percent of increase,” Wilson said.
“Five percent is a realistic number. As a growing campus trying to reach tier one status, we need to hire more faculty, need new equipment, faculty and staff salary increase, etc.”
The efficiency task force to be created in the proposal will examine wasteful spending and look for options to cut spending.
The task force will be expected to study “the policies and practices that cater to the unique social, psychological and financial needs of non-traditional students who have families and may be single parents,” according to the proposal.
Another responsibility of the task force will be to supervise scholarships and financial aid by the University rather than individual colleges and departments.
The proposal also asked that tuition rates be set for two years, in alignment with the Texas Legislature.
“Several other universities in Texas have this similar option,” Wilson said. “State appropriate money for two years, and it will be better to align with that two-year term, because it will give predictability both to administrators as well as students.”
A raise in the Cougar Promise cap to $50,000 was another issue discussed in the proposal. The cap is to help accommodate more families and grant eligibility to all students who qualify for financial aid via Cougar Promises and not just incoming freshman as it stands now.
“As economic conditions, as well as the standard of living changes, it’s crucial to consider the eligibility level for our students,” Wilson said.
“No student should drop out of school because of this tough economic condition.”
Wilson said the proposal recommends that more classes be offered at a discounted rate, as well as expanding the “Two for the price of one program” for all summer school sessions.
There will be a tuition and fee forum from 5:30-7p.m. Thursday in the University Center Big Bend Room 279.
The proposal will be reviewed by the Tuition and Fee committee later to make a proposal to the UH System Board of Regents for the final decision.