According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Senate voted on Monday to put strict limits on how much state universities can increase tuition and other charges.
The article said:
After several straight years of huge tuition hikes in Texas, the Senate voted Monday to sharply limit increases in the future, including a 5 percent annual cap for the state’s larger universities… The legislation would limit annual tuition and fee increases to no more than 5 percent – or the average rate of inflation if that figure is lower – at all schools whose rates are above the state median. That would mean tuition restrictions for 17 universities at all times – generally the largest schools in the state such as the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.
Well, it’s about time! A college education has become more and more unaffordable for the average American student. A matter of fact, Texas’ 35 public universities have seen tuition jump 86 percent in the past 6 years according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Many students are taking on tens of thousands of dollars in student loans simply to get a college education. And other students are stacking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans for an education in the more “lucrative” careers. These student loans are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, so our legislators are making the right move limiting public university costs. American students need to have a choice. They should not NEED to take out student loans if they are going to a state university and if they do it should be as a last resort.
I agree with Senator Judith Zaffirini, who said:
“This will provide financial relief to college students and their families while recognizing the responsibility of the Legislature to keep a college education affordable without sacrificing excellence.”
The bill was passed unanimously in the Senate and now it must pass through the house to become law. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.