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Monday, December 11, 2023

Faculty & Staff

Faculty senate talks Pell grants, graduation rates, student fees

UH President Renu Khator said the University needs to focus on graduation rates in the faculty senate meeting Wednesday in the Rockwell Pavilion.
Khator said she spoke with President Barack Obama during his visit in Houston about making the University part of a network that will consist of 14 schools for an initiative that will focus on a blueprint for college affordability.

“College cost has become a national federal and state item,” Khator said. “I understand the cost has gone up very much and it really is becoming a major issue.”

The University is seeking the fund, but it will only be eligible if it meets more on-time graduation rates, meaning students need to graduate within six years.

“We have to be careful in who we admit to the University,” Khator said.

“College completion and successful post-graduation employment are becoming increasingly important evaluation criteria.”

Khator also mentioned how the importance of helping students reach graduation within six years especially applies to those who are currently using Pell grants for their tuition.

Forty-four percent of first-time in college freshmen at the University are using Pell grants, Khator said.

“If we cannot graduate a student in six years, they will not be able to receive Pell grants anymore,” Khator said.

Khator said if students do not complete their courses by that time frame, they will lose the grant, and some of them will not be able to complete their degrees. This also leads to lower graduation rates for the University.

Provost John Antel discussed the consolidation of tuition and fees that would charge students by their major instead of individual courses.

Antel assured that there will be a semester-by-semester accounting where students will still be able to see where their tuition and each of their fees are used.

“This is really something about student preferences in having some predictability in terms of what they will have to pay,” Antel said.



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