Hands in your pocketbooks

With the American economy heading toward hard times, Sam Houston State University is attempting to ease some of the financial tension weighing down on its students. Prices may be rising on just about everything, but the university does not expect to follow suit.

Of the public universities in Texas, Sam Houston State is on the lower end of the price range. Based on information posted on their websites, tuition and fees for 15 hours for an in-state undergraduate student at Sam Houston State costs $2,321 per semester, while Stephen F. Austin averages $3,216, Texas Tech averages $3,541, Texas A&M costs $3,921 and North Texas costs $3,383.

College campuses are feeling the ramifications of a struggling economy and SHSU administrators realize that for most students, college is already hard enough to pay for without the economy adding to it. According to Dr. Richard Eglsaer, associate provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, officials at the university are doing everything possible to help students financially so that all they have to worry about is their academics.

“We really do not want to be known as the cheapest school because then people will treat you that way, but we are very cost conscious,” Eglsaer, said. “Before there would be any increase in fees or tuition, it must be approved by the Board of Regents, and they are very cautious in approving any price increase because they are concerned about the rising cost of schools.”

The school is also trying to find extra funds for scholarships to make college more affordable. In the case that the economy does fall into a recession, the low prices of the university, along with the lure of more financial aid, should help draw prospective students in.

Administrators say they realize that many students are commuting to and from school, so they implemented the Sam Shuttle system to help cut students’ transportation costs. The university is also working with The Woodlands area to get stores in that region to advertise with Jobs 4 Kats. With more local jobs available, this should help more students pay their way through college.

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