Board of Regents approves four-year fixed tuition options for all UT System students

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During its second meeting day on Thursday, the Board of Regents officially approved a motion directing each UT System institution to establish a four-year guaranteed tuition option for undergraduate students by fall 2014. 

The decision came after the board’s Academic Affairs Committee approved the measure during its meeting Wednesday.

Of the nine UT System academic campuses, only two currently offer fixed rate tuition programs. UT-Dallas established a mandatory guaranteed tuition program for students who entered in fall 2008 or later, while UT-El Paso has offered an optional guaranteed tuition program for students since fall 2006.

UT-El Paso President Diana Natalicio said in a presentation Wednesday that for some students, the financial security that comes with fixed-rate tuition is a major benefit. She said that for students who take less-traditional paths to a degree, the higher price that accompanies a fixed-tuition bill is not always feasible.

Mary Knight, University associate vice president and budget director, said in an interview Tuesday that offering a fixed-rate option means universities must engage in a considerable amount of budget forecasting, in case there are unexpected drops in enrollment, state financial aid or any other factors.

“There are so many factors involved in determining a budget forecast, in order to make sure we can meet our budget needs,” Knight said. “There is a lot to consider in this process.”

At the meeting, the board also approved officially naming the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program the Russell A. Steindam Army ROTC Program, recognizing a new history and policy center as the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for History, Strategy, and Statecraft, and naming the Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences Building after UT donor Peter O’Donnell Jr.