The Texas Legislature is going to come down on public university budgets next year, which will inevitably increase the cost of education. The University of Houston suggested to student leaders during the fourth annual Student Leadership Forum last week that Cougars can react by taking more credit hours and graduating within four years.
Easier said than done. UH Administration and Finance and Student Affairs started the forum with a quote from Hugh Roy Cullen that, interestingly enough, dealt with the cost of education.
“The University of Houston must always be a college for working men and women and their sons and daughters. If it were to be another rich man’s college, I wouldn’t be interested.”
The UH reps showed slides of budgets that spanned hundreds of pages and lasted for hours. There is not enough room in this editorial to even hit the tip of the budget iceberg, but Vice President for Administration and Finance Carl Carlucci had something interesting to say about how UH gets its state funding.
“Our (state) funding is not based on how many people we enroll, but how many credits you (students) take,” said Carlucci.
15 credit hours is the magic number. The more students who take 15 credit hours and graduate within four years, the better UH looks as a degree-granting public institution.
UH wants students to enroll in 15 credit hours per semester. In return, students lower costs by consolidating classes and not extending fees through endless semesters.
This is fine, but the average twenty-something working student who may have a kid at home only has so much time for school, not to mention the cost of attending a 15-credit semester. Khator says she is focused on student success, and graduating on time is the textbook definition, but UH also needs to remember what Roy Cullen said.
For more information on the UH budget, finances and other data, visit www.uh.edu/af/budget.