Tuition and fees likely to increase

By Savannah Trantham—

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Tuition and fees for Tarleton students on the Stephenville campus are expected to rise a total average of $158 if a proposal of a Guaranteed Tuition and Fee plan from President Dominic Dottavio is approved by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Committee on Finance met April 9 with each A&M System CEO to discuss the programmatic and financial direction of their institution for Fiscal Year 2015. Dottavio, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen Murray, and Vice President for Finance and Administration Tye Minckler were all in attendance to represent Tarleton State University.

“The guaranteed tuition and fee plan means that freshmen will pay the proposed rates by college/program per semester with no increases for the four years after they start,” Minckler explained in a University Budget Update. For incoming freshmen, tuition and fees would average a $219 increase.

As of next fall sophomores will pay the proposed rate with an average increase of $178, with no increases over the next three years. Juniors will pay an average tuition increase of $138 but for only the next two years. Seniors will have an average increase of $99.

Where each new and old fee had to be separated out, the fee collapse will combine 18 individual existing fees to make up one flat rate fee.

“Now people are recognizing it’s become so cumbersome. If you can generally put them gether as part of tuition rather than all these separate fee schedules, you should try to do that,” Dottavio said.

Fees that will be combined into the new University Services Fees include lab, student service, off campus program, yearbook, ag facilities, writing intensive course, first year experience, graduation, testing, academic support and advising, computer access, distance education, instructional equipment, library access, student endowment, ID system, international education, and records.

The University Services Fee will have a base rate of $60.85 per student per semester credit hour, and will be included in the Guaranteed Tuition and Fee plan.

Fees that are not included in the guaranteed tuition fee because they are location specific to the Stephenville campus include the intercollegiate athletic, health, recreational sports, student center complex and parking fees. The online program fee will be location specific to the Distance Ed Degree Program.

All the information and statistics presented to the Board were requested. The goal of the meeting was to explain to the system “What we were collapsing and then what those charts were going look like if you put the guaranteed tuition plan in place,” Dottavio said.

Dottavio’s presentation covered trends in 2013 demographics, four year graduation rates, persistence rates, academic program development, state appropriations, general and tuition and fees percentage revenue comparison, fee collapse-university service fees, location specific fees, guaranteed tuition and fees at the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior level, miscellaneous fees that are not included in the guarantee, graduate tuition differential, Stephenville parking fee, FY 2015 revenue budget graph, new goals and objectives, FY 2015 salary plan, (FTE)full time equivalent request, auxiliary functions, projects under construction, FY 2015 priority projects, and an audit update.

The fee collapse, guaranteed tuition, and parking slides and numbers, “which we showed at the student fee hearing—these are the things that they wanted to see.” Dottavio told Texan News.

At the next Texas A&M System Board of Regents Meeting, they will make a decision on whether or not they approve the schedules presented.

“I expect they will because they’re the ones that directed us to put in place the guaranteed tuition plans,” Dottavio said.

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