Texas Lawmakers Considering College Tuition Freeze

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A possible tuition freeze could be on the way for students at public Universities in Texas. Some say it could help students, while others contend it could cause big problems with state schools. 

The average cost per semester for an in-state University of Texas of the Permian Basin student is about $2,100 dollars. It may stay there, if one proposed bill passes.

The tuition increases could be affected if Bill 105 is passed. As it is right now, a school's board of regents sets the price for increases. The proposed bill, however, would create a two-year moratorium on tuition hikes, plus a cap on increases after that.

Sounds like a good deal for students, but some lawmakers say the bill could blow a hole in budgets and lower the value of a diploma. However, one administrator at U.T.P.B. said it would  be more like a drop in the bucket there.

"If it were cancelled, frozen, reduced, it would be approximately one and a half percent of the total institution budget," Dr. Christopher Forrest, the Vice President of Business Affairs, explained. "So, it would have an effect, it certainly wouldn't be an earth shattering kind of effect."

In addition, the administration at U.T.P.B. said on Friday the balance between tuition and state support really is up to the lawmakers. They'll convene this Tuesday and it could be a few weeks before they vote on the bill.