North Texas Daily

UNT proposing to raise tuition for the graduate school, 3 undergraduate programs

UNT proposing to raise tuition for the graduate school, 3 undergraduate programs

UNT proposing to raise tuition for the graduate school, 3 undergraduate programs
November 15
00:01 2018

The Office of the Provost and Student Financial Services recently held two meetings to inform students about a proposal to raise tuition in upcoming school years. The plan proposes to raise tuition prices in certain colleges, raise the graduate board-designated tuition, and replace the Eagle Express program with the Save and Soar program.

The tuition changes will be proposed to the UNT System Board of Regents Thursday and Friday, with the vote occurring during Friday’s meeting. If the proposals are accepted, the changes will take affect for the fall 2019 semester. 

UNT Provost Jennifer Evans-Cowley along with Robert Watling, vice provost of academic affairs and Joey Saxon, associate vice president of student financial services, led the meetings.

Differential tuition rates

The board proposed to use differential tuition rates, meaning the university will align the costs undergraduate students pay with instructional costs for hiring faculty the chosen schools need. As a result, tuition rates in the College of Visual Arts and Design, Mayborn School of Journalism and College of Science may be raised in increments for the next two and three years.

Rather than raising rates all at once, Watling said the group has developed a plan to minimize the fiscal impact on students.

“Currently, we’ve hired the number of faculty we can afford to pay from all the tuition collected,” Watling said. “Unfortunately with the revenue we’ve collected, it isn’t sufficient to have the student-faculty ratio we aspire to deliver the quality experience we would like. Therefore, to be able to hire those additional faculty, we will need to increase our resources in some way, and that’s why we’ve put this plan forward.”

For CVAD, the semester credit hour rates for undergraduates will be $30 in fall 2019, $38 in fall 2020 and $45 in fall 2021. For the Mayborn, rates will be $15 in fall 2019 and $30 in fall 2020. For the College of Science, the rate will be $8 in fall 2019, $16 in fall 2020 and $24 in fall 2021.

Currently under the Eagle Express Tuition Plan, students pay between $223.01 and $251.77 per credit hour, depending on which fall semester students enrolled in the university. The differential fees would be on top of those tuition rates. The colleges of engineering, business and music already have differential tuition rates in place, at $10 and $15 per credit hour, respectively.

Broadcast journalism sophomore Caleb Akpan said he understands the reason for having differential tuition. Although he said he is not happy about the tuition raises, he said he agrees that some schools, like the Mayborn, need more resources than others.

“Nobody wants to pay more, but I understand that different majors require different things,” Akpan said. “You do need a lot of expensive equipment and resources to be successful in the Mayborn.”

Students at the second meeting asked if, rather than raising rates, the tuition from the influx of incoming students could cover the hiring of new professors. In response, Watling explained the school has reached the maximum number of faculty it can afford.

Graduate school tuition rate

Infographic Lizzy Spangler

Along with the differential tuition changes, the graduate tuition rates will be raised for the first time in six years, according to the Office of the Provost and Student Financial Services. Still, UNT rates would remain lower than all other Tier 1 public research universities in the state after the increase.

Similar to the differential tuition raises, the financial services office plans to fix the faculty-to-student ratio issue and directly invest in better quality education for graduate students.

The raise in graduate tuition rates will be by $25 per semester hour beginning fall 2019, meaning the total tuition will rise from $302.79 to $327.79 for Texas residents and from $717.79 to $742.49 for non-Texas residents. Then, graduate tuition will be raised by $25 again in 2020, with the prices increasing to $352.79 per semester hour for in-state residents and $767.79 for non-residents.

David Holdeman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said UNT tuition rates are actually lower than several other universities in the state of Texas and is concerned with how these changes will impact graduate students wanting to come to UNT.

“I am concerned with our ability to recruit masters students and Ph.D. students into funded graduate student lines as [teaching assistants] and [teaching fellows],” Holdeman said. “We’re in competition with other universities to make sure our packages offered to graduate students are competitive, so I do want to make sure we consider the impact of this change on that aspect.”

Holdeman said he is speaking with the provost’s office to address the potentially negative impacts of the price change for graduate students.

Save and Soar tuition plan

The group will also propose to replace the Eagle Express plan with a new fixed rate tuition plan called Save and Soar. According to the presentation, Save and Soar participants will receive discounted prices for summer semesters and winter sessions rather than on their final 15 semester credit hours.

Save and Soar will play a similar role to the Eagle Express plan in that it locks in rates for incoming, first-time freshmen and undergraduate transfer students who meet Texas residency requirements and will graduate in four years.

These locked-in rates will not be affected by the incremental rising of the board designated tuition or the differential tuition plan, so as rates rise, Save and Soar students’ rates will remain the same rate as when they began attending the university. However, the differential rates will be a little higher for Save and Soar students than traditional students. The tuition changes will be proposed to the UNT System Board of Regents on Thursday, Nov. 15. If the proposals are accepted, the changes will take affect for the fall 2019 semester.

Featured Image: Infographic Jordan Collard

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Xavier Spurlock

Xavier Spurlock

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