University of Houston-Victoria already taking steps to freeze tuition

The University of Houston-Victoria has been taking action to keep education affordable long before the proposal of a tuition freeze by Gov. Rick Perry during his State of the State speech today.

“In recognition of the economic difficulties many of our students are facing, UHV has been developing plans over the last several weeks to freeze tuition for next year at its current level,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “Education is one of the best investments anyone can make in a slowing economy, and we want to make sure that UHV is an investment all our students can afford. A quality education pays dividends for a lifetime.”

Because of record enrollment growth and improvements in operational efficiency, UHV administration plans to freeze tuition for the next school year without suspending annual employee raises that have made UHV the envy of other universities, Hudson said. Enrollment grew 14 percent from the fall 2007 to the fall 2008 semesters, one of the fastest growth rates in Texas. Preliminary spring semester numbers indicate the strong enrollment growth trend is continuing.

“People have discovered we offer top-quality educational opportunities at an affordable price,” Hudson said. “We’ve been very cautious about tuition increases in the past. With the combination of enrollment growth, streamlining university operations, a little belt tightening and some help from the Texas Legislature, tuition increases won’t be necessary.”

A full-time undergraduate resident student at UHV paid just $5,220 in tuition and fees for 30 credit hours spread across the 2008-2009 fall and spring semesters.

UHV incorporates a thorough budget process which identifies additional funding sources, eliminates inefficiencies and implements other cost-cutting measures, said Wayne Beran, vice president for administration and finance. UHV currently is creating the budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

“We share the governor’s commitment to Texas students during these challenging times. UHV plans to do its part,” Hudson said.

“President Hudson has challenged us to create a guaranteed-price plan for incoming freshmen if the Legislature approves our expansion plans,” Beran said.

The Legislature is expected to consider a bill this session that would allow UHV to add freshmen and sophomores. If permission is granted, UHV plans to add its first 190 underclassmen in the fall 2010 semester.

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.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342