UH System Board of Regents approve tuition and fee rates for FY2012

HOUSTON, June 3, 2011– The University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents approved tuition rates for fiscal year 2012 in a special meeting held Friday at the University of Houston (UH).

The approved rates will result in an approximate 3.95 percent increase for resident undergraduate students taking 12 credit hours at all four system universities: UH, UH-Clear Lake (UHCL), UH-Victoria (UHV), and UH-Downtown (UHD). This equates to a change of $143 per semester at UH, $102 at UHCL, $91 at UHD and $90 per semester at UHV.

For nine-hour resident graduate students within the UHS, the average increase will be approximately 4.95 percent, ranging from $88-$385 per semester, depending on the college. Professional students in optometry and pharmacy at UH will experience a 9 percent increase.

UHS Board of Regents Chair Carroll Ray said raising tuition was a last option, and it comes after the system targeted budget reductions in other areas. UHS has targeted almost $42 million in reductions for FY2012. Reductions include operational efficiencies, slowed hiring of faculty and staff, consolidation of shared services such as information technology and the consolidation or elimination of low producing degree programs.

“We did not want to raise tuition, and we did everything possible to reduce costs through all other available means,” Ray said. “We understand the financial burden many of our students face, however, the UH System could not absorb the cut in state funding we currently face on our own.”

The UH System will lose approximately $80-$100 million dollars in state revenue in the next biennium, a cut of 16-19 percent respectively in the proposed Texas Senate and House appropriation bills. This comes on top of 5 percent funding reductions already imposed in 2010. While the Texas legislature remains in a special session and has not yet approved the state budget, the UH System regents had to proceed with setting tuition rates in order for students to register for the fall 2011 semester.

The revenue generated from the increase in tuition will be used to support student success initiatives including additional scholarships and academic advising. The funds will also support programs to retain and graduate UHS students in a timely manner.

UHS budget discussions have been ongoing for more than a year, including a series of recent meetings open to students, faculty and staff. In November the campus community at UH was asked to submit ideas for cutting costs, generating additional revenue and becoming more efficient. UHS continues its budget process. The FY2012 budget cannot be passed until the Texas legislature passes the state appropriations bill and UHS knows exactly how it will be impacted. FY2012 begins September 1.

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.

Shawn Lindsey