Even with tuition increase, UHV remains affordable

The University of Houston-Victoria will remain one of the state’s best buys for higher education in the fall even after a recently announced tuition increase.

“We expect that our tuition increase will be one of the lowest in the state,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “Students know when they come to UHV that they will get a top-quality education at a price they can afford.”

On Feb. 16, the University of Houston System Board of Regents approved a tuition and fee increase of 3.8 percent for in-state undergraduates taking 12 credit hours a semester at UHV during fiscal year 2011. Those same students currently are charged $2,190 and will pay $84 more next school year.

The increase is necessary to sustain services to ensure quality at the university, increase faculty and staff in fast-growing programs such as nursing and business, and deliver additional academic programs such as the new master’s degree in forensic psychology, which will be offered for the first time this fall, said Wayne Beran, vice president for administration and finance.

“We’ll also use 20 percent, or about $100,000, of the money generated by the increase in resident tuition and fees for additional financial aid for our FIRST 200 underclassmen and other UHV students who need extra help to obtain a degree,” he said.

UHV’s tuition and fee increases have been consistently lower than its peers’ during the past five years. In fact, UHV tied with Texas Tech University for the lowest percentage change in tuition and fees when comparing fall of 2003 with fall of 2008 data for in-state, undergraduate students taking 15 semester credit hours at Texas public universities. This is the most recent statewide data available from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“We’ve been able to keep our tuition rates low thanks to our significant enrollment increases during the last five years and by making wise budgetary decisions,” Beran said.

UHV grew from 2,491 students in the fall of 2005 to 3,655 students in the fall of 2009, or an increase of 47 percent. Final UHV enrollment figures for this spring are expected to continue to set records over the prior spring semester.

Each year, UHV proposes tuition and fees to the UH System chancellor based on requests from academic and administrative divisions, along with discussions and public forums involving students, faculty and staff members. The UH System Board of Regents then makes the final decision.

The UHV rate increase announcement follows similar moves by several other Texas universities. Tuition at Texas A&M University in Bryan, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas in Denton will increase by 3.95 percent for fiscal year 2011. Texas Woman’s University, which also is in Denton, will increase tuition by 4.89 percent.

“We make it a priority at UHV to keep our tuition rates low,” Hudson said. “The cost of a university education is well worth the investment considering that those who earn a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn $2.1 million over their lifetime compared with $1.2 million for those with only a high school diploma. But a university degree should be affordable for everyone who qualifies academically and who chooses to pursue one.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler