Texas college system cuts tuition by 25%

Students attending three Lamar State colleges in Texas will see their tuition and fees drop by an average of 25 percent (or $760 per semester) for the 2019-20 school year after state lawmakers last month provided them with an additional $17.3 million.

Full-time students at the two-year Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT) and two other state schools — which are part of the Texas State University System (TSUS) — will pay tuition and fees of $1,995 at all three college. That’s roughly the same price as in 2009, according to system officials.

TSUS also reduced the fee for dual-credit courses from $75-$110 per semester credit hour to $50 per semester credit hour at all three colleges.

The Texas legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last month approved the funding increase. TSUS opted to use the additional funding to lower tuition and fees for students, tapping 95 percent ($16.5 million) of those allocations for tuition cuts. The rest will go toward student support services.

“The Texas legislature and Governor Abbott deserve enormous praise for creating a more level playing field for college students in southeast Texas,” said TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall. “Cost should not be a barrier to a college degree if we have the means to address it. This additional funding shows a strong commitment by our state leaders to the students of southeast Texas.”

The infusion of money is intended to address the inequity in funding between Lamar State colleges and the state’s community colleges, according to officials. Unlike Texas community colleges, Lamar State colleges receive no local tax revenue, requiring them to charge higher tuition to make up the difference.

The average tuition at a Texas community college is about $1,000 per semester for a full-time, in-district student. By comparison, the average tuition and fees at a Lamar State College last year were approximately $2,800.

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