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Tuition and Fee Rates Set by UH System Regents For Next Fiscal Year$3 Million in extra financial aid, new ‘Cougar Promise’ for low-income families included in 5.5% increase

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May 15, 2008-Houston-
The University of Houston System Board of Regents has approved tuition and fee rates at its four universities for fiscal year 2009.

There will be a system-wide increase of 5.5 percent, ranging from 4.1 percent at UH-Downtown to 5.9 percent at both the University of Houston and UH-Clear Lake. UH-Victoria will see a 5 percent increase. These rates go into effect for the fall 2008 semester.

  • At UH, an in-state undergraduate student taking 12 credit hours will pay $185 more in tuition and fees.
  • At UH-Clear Lake, a comparable student will pay about $134 more per semester.
  • At UH-Downtown, a student will pay about $84 more.
  • At UH-Victoria, a student will pay about $102 more.

"We are balancing the economic realities that face our student body with the resources required to continue providing quality higher education," said Board of Regents Chairman Welcome W. Wilson Sr.

The tuition and fee increase will generate approximately $17 million in additional revenue system-wide, with more than $3 million of that - about 19 percent - dedicated specifically for increased financial aid.

"That extra aid, along with another $7 million for improved student services and academic support, add up to more than $10.5 million of new money that we will be devoting exclusively to student success," said UH System Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator.

The regents also adopted a new tuition and fee policy for incoming in-state freshmen at UH from families with an annual income of $30,000 or less. Called the "Cougar Promise," the program calls for UH to cover all tuition costs beyond what the student receives in financial aid, provided the student is eligible to receive federal financial aid. Using a combination of federal, state and institutional funds, UH will fully cover tuition and mandatory fees for Cougar Promise-eligible students. This may include as many as 600 students in its initial phase this fall. Students who qualify can continue their Cougar Promise status for up to four years.

"This kind of innovative support will reduce the financial burden many of our students carry and allow them to focus on their academic progress," said Donald Foss, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs of the UH System and senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of UH. "The Cougar Promise provides clarity to the financial aid process by assuring the families of qualifying students that they will receive enough financial aid. We should all be proud that our board is willing to make that commitment for our campuses and for our community."

The "Cougar Promise" policy joins other cost-cutting measures at UH such as "The Jump," which allows incoming freshmen to take core classes during the summer at a reduced cost; the "Graduation Pledge," which offers up to $3,000 in grants for eligible students making steady progress toward earning their degree; Saturday classes offered at a discount; and reduced rates on selected classes for education majors.

For additional information about these and other financial incentives at UH, please see http://www.uh.edu/financial/undergraduate/types-aid/incentives/.

Tuition and fees provide approximately 37 percent of the UH System's annual operating budget. Funding from the state of Texas currently accounts for 36 percent, down from 47 percent in 1998 and 58 percent in 1988.

The UH System rate increase follows similar actions by three other state university systems. The University of Texas-Austin recently approved a 4.95 percent rise (increasing an undergraduate student's costs by $200). Texas A&M-College Station approved a 6.5 percent increase (a $255 increase). The University of North Texas-Denton approved an 8.3 percent increase ($247).

The UH System tuition and fee recommendations considered by the regents were developed at each of the four universities based on requests from academic and administrative divisions as well as discussions and public forums involving student, faculty and staff members. Recommendations received final approval by each university's president.

For more information about the UH System Board of Regents see: http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/regents/.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM
The University of Houston System is the state's only metropolitan higher education system, encompassing four universities and two multi-institution teaching centers. The universities are the University of Houston, a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting, comprehensive research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university beginning limited expansion into graduate programs; and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the University of Houston-Victoria, both upper division and master's-level institutions. The centers are the UH System at Sugar Land in Fort Bend and the UH System at Cinco Ranch. In addition, the UH System includes KUHF-FM, Houston's National Public Radio and classical radio station, and KUHT-TV, the nation's first educational television station.

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