Texas Education

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Rep. Garnet Coleman fighting to make higher education more affordable

Posted by Texas Education on April 16, 2009

The passage of legislation deregulating tuition in 2003 marked the end of an era of accountability, accessibility and affordability in Texas public higher education. Since tuition deregulation went into effect, designated tuition at Texas colleges and universities has skyrocketed 112 percent, placing the burden of these increased tuition rates on the backs of students and families. Texas Grants and student loans have not risen on par with the escalating cost of tuition, nor have they kept up with the number of qualifying students; thus creating a growing gap between those able to afford college and those in need of financial assistance.

Today, I laid out legislation – House Bill 2955 – in the House Higher Education Committee that would repeal the tuition setting powers of university boards of regents. HB 2955 would scale back tuition rates to reasonable levels and set the tuition for the next 6 academic years. This would give Texas students the opportunity to financially plan their education and focus on their studies, rather than worry about how to pay for college. It is time that state officials take back the responsibility for controlling tuition and expand educational opportunities for Texas students, not continue to price them out.

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