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Friday, November 27, 2020

Opinion

Fixed tuition rate fails to help UH’s working class


The UH Board of Regents approved last Tuesday the request to establish a four-year fixed tuition rate for incoming students.

While this decision seems to only benefit students, there are some compelling circumstances surrounding the fixed tuition rate.

In 2013, the Texas State Legislature passed HB 29, which requires “general academic teaching institutions to offer a fixed-tuition-rate plan to undergraduate students.” The University was required to have a plan in effect by Fall 2014.

This isn’t to say that the Board passed this only to be compliant. It is generally agreed that a fixed tuition rate will help students pay for classes and stay in school.

However, for the first two years, the fixed tuition rate will cost students more rather than less. For students who major in the humanities, the rate might end up costing them more in the long run overall.

That aside, it still fails to recognize the real reason these students may not be able to graduate on time or at all.

The students who go to UH are the same students Hugh Roy Cullen told the University to take care of when he gave us his first donation, when he said “the University of Houston must always be a college for working men and women and their sons and daughters.”

These are students who commute, work, do internships and then go home to care of their families. They are working-class students, the kind who can’t balance the 15-hour-per-semester schedules the fixed-tuition agreement requires with their other responsibilities.

With the fixed-tuition-rate decision, students will have an option. The problem is, however, that just like with graduating, it won’t be a viable one for many students simply because they can’t meet the requirements and quotas being given to them.

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