Regents approve tuition increase
The UH System Board of Regents almost unanimously approved a tuition increase during a meeting Tuesday.
Nandita Berry was the only regent who voted against the increase.
The main campus will experience a 3.95 percent ($138) increase per twelve credit hour semester. UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown and UH-Victoria will be looking at increases of 4.5 percent, 5.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.
“The tuition increase covers a number of different items,” Vice Chairman Jim Wise said. “It’s no more complicated than your personal checkbook. What goes out has to be covered by what comes in.”
State funding for the University has been declining throughout the last three decades, which leads to an increase in the amount that students and their families pay.
Since 1990, state funding to the University has dropped from 54 percent to 32 percent. Tuition has increased from 17 percent to 38 percent during this period.
“We know it is a burden on the students and their families, but we had to do that to maintain our programs,” Provost John Antel said. “So our tuition fee increases have been mainly to offset losses of funding from the state. We’re going to have to face up to the reality that this trend is probably going to continue.”
Regardless of these increases, UH remains in the lower half of the spectrum compared to other universities in Texas.
“I want to make sure that the rate is within the rate of our Texas peers,” UH President Renu Khator said. “The rate must be a provision for students to graduate.”
But tuition may not rise for students who come from lower-income backgrounds.
As part of the Cougar Promise Program, any incoming freshman who applies for Fall 2010 and comes from a family with an income of $45,000 or less will not pay tuition, Khator said.
The Cougar Promise threshold was raised to $45,000 from $40,000. Last summer, the amount was lifted to $40,000.
Any student who starts this fall and takes the Cougar Graduation Pledge of completing 30 credit hours per year will be protected from any future tuition increase.
Vice Chancellor Carl Carlucci said 20 percent of tuition increases must be invested in financial aid, student success initiatives, hiring faculty and scholarships.
Graduate tuition and fees will increase at an average of 7.7 percent for the University.
The UH Law school tuition increase was amended by Provost John Antel to 16.5 percent from 20 percent. Although the Law School is experiencing the highest increase in tuition, students appear understanding of the change.
“We all (at the UH Law Center) made the decision to make an investment in our legal education,” third year law student Erin Ferris said. “We fully support the tuition increase.”
Regent Nelda Blair said with the tuition increase for the Law School, rebuilding the Law Center should be a priority.
“Even though this tuition increase, I realize, has nothing to do with building a Law School addition, I think that in order to make our Law School top notch, it has to have both the facility and the quality,” Blair said. “If we just concentrate on the quality and say we will worry about the facility later, that is not the approach we need.”
Tuition increases by college
Students will be paying more for the education at UH beginning this fall. Here’s a quick glance at the rise in each college’s rate.
Architecture: 4.1 percent
Business Administration: 2.1 percent
Education: 5.8 percent
Engineering: 8.3 percent
Hotel and Restaurant Management: 5.8 percent
Law: 16.5 percent
CLASS: 3.7 percent
Natural Science and Math: 3.2 percent
Optometry: 3.9 percent
Pharmacy: 2.5 percent
College of Social Work: 3.3 percent
Technology: 2.9 percent.