More students should voice concerns over rising tuition

One thing deregulation has taught us is that foxes make poor guards for henhouses.

Since House Bill 3015 was passed in 2003 at the urging of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, tuition in Texas universities and colleges has increased by an average of 112 percent. UH raised tuition 21 percent in the first year of deregulation alone.

Although Texas legislators claim there is no state tax, this hidden cost increase for higher education is tantamount to taxation on education, something Texans are very much against. The astronomical rise of tuition at UH – $1,860 in 2003 to $3,767 in 2007 for a 15-hour semester – is a compelling argument for tuition freeze.

Compromising the academic health of graduates in the name of expediency and growth is not only counterproductive, but also unnecessary.

Texas Tech is also seeking flagship status in this state, yet it found the room to respect the fiscal constraints of its student body by freezing tuition last May. ‘

Granted, we were hard hit by Hurricane Ike, reparations for which Chancellor Renu Khator is fighting for this week in Austin, but that is no excuse to continue adding expenses to student pockets. Between the ongoing recession and crises in the mortgage, energy and technological industries, the Houston area’s pockets have bottomed out.

Governor Rick Perry’s proposition to freeze tuition at Texas schools for four years is deeply welcomed, if a little delayed. Texas Tech’s year-old freeze indicates awareness of the problem far beforehand.’ More than the response from the Texas legislature, we look also to a response to inflated tuition from the student body.’ Student commentary in the wake of Texas Tech’s freeze was muted, despite our vested interest on the issue.

A two-pronged approach is required to address the problem.’ The administrative action of freezing tuition must come from Khator’s office, but the agitation that punctuates the problem is also the responsibility of the student body.

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