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More on Higher Ed – a mountain of debt

Posted by Texas Education on July 11, 2008

Lawmaker wants repeal of tuition deregulation

Tuition at Texas public colleges rose 112 percent from 2003 to 2007, according to a report by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The news has prompted state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, to renew his calls to repeal tuition deregulation.

Coleman_4 “We should repeal tuition deregulation, then lower tuition by at least $500,” Coleman said in a telephone interview. “The way it worked before worked well.”

Texas public universities have been able to set their own tuition rates since 2003. Coleman blames Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick for thwarting bills Coleman sponsored in 2005 and 2007 to undo deregulation. He promised to try again in the coming session.

Average tuition for a Texas undergraduate taking 15 semester credit hours jumped from $625 to $1,330 per semester from fall 2003 to fall 2007.

Coleman has a personal interest in tuition. One of his children is a high school junior, and Coleman has been studying debt levels for college graduates and their parents.

“One thing that we don’t have is a merit-based scholarship that isn’t need-based,” Coleman said, adding that middle-class families are now facing six-figure debts to finance undergraduate degrees. “Those are levels of debt we associate with medical school or law school, not an undergraduate degree.”

Read the rest of John Austin’s report here.

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