The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved a tuition plan for UT Rio Grande Valley today that eliminates traditional student fees and provides guaranteed tuition rates aimed to benefit students and their families.
The tuition plan, developed by a task force comprised of UTRGV staff and prospective students, is structured to promote student access and success, while ensuring affordability, transparency and predictability.
“Those were our goals and our guiding principles during this entire process,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “I wanted students to know exactly what they were going to pay – not be surprised by hidden fees or added costs as if often the case – to be able to plan their future knowing the price would remain the same as long as they graduate on time, and to know we will do everything in our power to keep a college education affordable and accessible for them, while providing them with a world-class learning experience.”
As of this week, UTRGV has admitted more than 3,600 freshmen, Bailey said, and 86 percent of them were offered financial aid packages that cover 100 percent of their tuition and fees.
“The complete restructuring of tuition and fees triggered additional needs-based funding,” Bailey said. “That allows us to completely cover college costs for most of our incoming freshmen and I could not be happier about that.”
The proposal approved by Regents mandates a guaranteed tuition plan for undergraduate students that encourages a timely path to graduation. Students continuing their education from UT Brownsville or UT Pan American will be assessed rates based on their college start and prior hours earned.
For example, continuing students with 90 completed credit hours or more will receive a one-year guaranteed rate; students with between 60 and 89 hours will receive a two-year guaranteed rate; those with between 30 and 59 credits will receive a three-year guaranteed rate; and those with 29 credit hours or less will receive a four-year guaranteed rate. Incoming freshmen and students that began college during the 2014-15 academic year are also eligible for a four-year guaranteed rate, regardless of college credit already earned.
For graduate students, those pursuing a master’s degree will be provided a two-year guarantee and doctoral students will operate under a four-year guarantee. If a student completes his or her bachelor’s degree ahead of schedule, they are eligible to apply the unused guarantee plan time toward graduate school.
Tuition rates will be capped at 12 hours, meaning a student taking a course load larger than 12 credit hours will incur no additional tuition charges.
UTRGV has set aside roughly $4 million to minimize the impact of a tuition increase, continuing the legacy of affordable access to higher education in the region. Although the average undergraduate financial aid applicant would incur a Fall 2015 out-of-pocket increase of $285 over the Fall 2014 rates, the institution will develop a program so that no students with family incomes below a certain level are faced with out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees. Also, a summer bridge program is being deployed to help ensure that all college-worthy students are prepared for university work.
Bailey expects that the majority of UTRGV students will pay nothing in tuition or fees, with the cost covered through means such as…
Read more at the UTRGV Website.