Forum to discuss new tuition system

The possibility of a new tuition system for Sam Houston State University next fall prompted Student Services to host an open forum in the LSC Theater this afternoon at 4 p.m.

President James Gaertner and various administrative vice presidents will be available to inform students about the issue and address students’ opinions and concerns about the possible switch.

Under the new system of designated tuition, students will no longer pay course fees but instead will pay a higher cost per semester credit hour. According to Ken Craycraft, TSUS Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, the average cost students pay would stay about the same, as the change would simply be a conversion away from course fees towards an increase in designated tuition.

“This is really a budget neutral item,” Craycraft said. “We want to make sure students budget enough money and with the new system, the costs are clear to students. You can look at the cost of one credit hour and multiply that by how many hours your taking, and that’s the cost. We’re seeking clarity and predictability.”

In addition to painting a clearer picture of costs for students, the new system of designated tuition also allows universities better flexibility with their funds.

“It helps universities address unexpected costs, like a disaster,” Craycraft said. “We had a hurricane hit Lamar University last year. Having this type of tuition allows the chief financial officers of the universities move the money to where it is needed most.”

Craycraft also said that the new system allows for 20 percent of the money brought in will be set aside for university scholarship funds.

Though the issue is on the table, no official decisions have been made. The Board of Regents will vote on the topic at their meeting on Nov. 17.

“I’m really pleased that students are talking about this and that it is getting in conversations,” Craycraft said.

The issue first became a topic of debate when members of the board voiced their concerns that students may be spending more with course fees than they would with designated tuition.

“We’re concerned with the accessibility and affordability of higher education,” Craycraft said. “The presidents have been outstanding with addressing the issues that concern students. We want to keep students first. We’re in the business for you and we need to be sensitive to your needs.”

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