With money tight in higher education, Texas A&M University is planning to ask its out-of-state students to carry more of the financial burden.
The A&M System Board of Regents voted Thursday to increase its out-of-state tuition at its College Station flagship by up to $200 per credit hour. For a student taking a normal, full-time course load of 15 hours, that would be a $3,000-per-semester increase. The change is only valid for undergraduates.
President Michael Young said the bump is an attempt to make the cost of college more equitable among in-state and out-of-state students. In-state students and their families paid state taxes, he said, which help fund A&M. Out-of-state students didn't.
But the university is also expected to receive about a $2.1 million boost from the increase next year. In a memo to regents before the vote, officials said the money will help the school handle "inflationary" pressures.
"If the proposed designated tuition request is not approved, inflationary costs will be addressed through reduction in services or internal funding reallocations," the memo said.
Tuition costs vary depending on the student's field of study, but a typical out-of-state student currently pays about $15,000 per semester. In-state students pay about $5,000 per semester.
As state funding for higher education declines nationwide, many top public universities have relied on out-of-state students to help make up the difference. California's prestigious public universities attracted strong political pushback for working to grow the number of its high-paying out-of-state students.
Texas' two flagships — A&M and the University of Texas at Austin — have largely avoided that strategy. UT-Austin is limited by state law in how many out-of-state students it can accept. At A&M, the share of out-of-state students inched up in recent years. But 94.8 percent of undergraduates in College Station are currently from Texas — and about half of the out-of-state students receive a waiver that allows them to avoid paying nonresident tuition.
"We have a relatively small number of undergraduates from out of state," said Young.
- Texas families are struggling to pay for college — but so is the state.
- Enrollment is growing fast at A&M. Now, it's over 66,000.
Disclosure: Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors is available here.