Tuition increases

On March 3, the University of Texas System Board of Regents approved tuition and fee increases for the next two years for nine UT system institutions, including UTSA. Tuition will increase 4.5 percent, or $366 a year for full-time students. The increase will be effective beginning Fall 2010.

Right now, students taking 12 hours pay $3,208.70 in tuition and fees. With the increase, those same students will pay $3,574.70 by Fall 2010 and about $4,400 by Fall 2011.

The University of Texas System regents have voted to increase tuition at the flagship Austin campus by 5.4 percent this fall.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, in-state undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin will pay an average of $4,709 per semester for tuition and fees in 2010-11 and $4,892 the following academic year. The present tuition and fees total averages $4,468 per semester.

All typical fees that full-time students pay will increase. Commuter parking permits will increase to $105 in fiscal year 2011 and $130 in fiscal year 2012. A little over $1.5 million will be reserved for financial aid, a requirement the legislature made for the institutions requesting an increase in designated tuition.

“The decision on how the money is going to be allocated has not been made because the board just approved it,” Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs Janet Parker said.

UTSA may be facing a $10 million budget cut next year. According to Parker, some of the money from the increase will be beneficial so that the university will not have to cut faculty and staff. However, if the budget cut is not as severe as proposed, the money will be used for hiring new faculty and staff and advancing the strategic initiative to propel UTSA to a tier one status.

Josh Bart, Student Government Association secretary, said that, though he does not like increases in fees, he can understand why they are necessary.

“I’m a firm believer in freezing tuition and fees, especially while in recession, but I also recognize that the increase has a payoff: paying more now means that my degree will be worth more when we reach tier one in the future.”

Senior biology major Micah Hernandez said that an increase in tuition should also include an increase in financial aid to keep college affordable.

“I think it is unfortunate that a lot of students have to work to make ends meet. I see this as a necessary evil in the growth of our university,” she said.