The University of Houston System Board of Regents approved a measure that will help take the guesswork out of predicting tuition costs. The board unanimously voted to develop a plan for optional four-year fixed tuition rates at each of the system institutions – UH, UH-Downtown, UH-Clear Lake and UH-Victoria. The proposed optional fixed rate plan will be implemented in fall 2014.
Four-year fixed rates would apply to freshmen entering UHS institutions in fall 2014. These students would likely have to maintain a full course load (30 hours or more per year) to be eligible for fixed rates. They also can opt out of fixed rates if they register as part-time students at UHS universities.
A fixed rate plan would offer students flexibility, predictability and clarity as they prepare for each semester, said UHS Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator.
During the 2013 legislative session, Texas Gov. Rick Perry encouraged all of the state’s universities to develop fixed rate tuition plans.
In fall 2012, UH introduced a consolidated billing structure to assist undergraduates in predicting tuition costs. Freshmen currently pay $280 per credit hour regardless of major for 12 months. Rates for upper classmen are based on majors. Consolidated rates are expected to still apply to part-time students who opt out of fixed tuition.
The University of Houston currently offers a net price calculator, designed to help students predict and understand their education costs, and incentive programs, such as the Cougar Promise and the tuition rebate program. The Cougar Promise guarantees free tuition and mandatory fees to new in-state freshmen with family incomes at or below $45,000. The $1,000 tuition rebate program provides incentive to undergraduates who meet eligibility requirements, including graduating within four calendar years for four years degrees. The development of these programs and the upcoming fixed tuition model is largely in response to rising tuition rates statewide, fueled by long-term decreasing support from state revenues. This summer, the board is expected to set regular tuition and fee rates for fall 2013.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM
The University of Houston System is a comprehensive system of higher education institutions serving to further the intellectual capital and economic strength of the Gulf Coast region. The UH System includes the University of Houston, a nationally recognized Tier One public research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university expanding into graduate programs; the University of Houston-Victoria, a four-year university with undergraduate and master’s level degree programs; and the University of Houston- Clear Lake, an upper-division and master’s level institution. The system also includes three branch campuses, UH-Clear Lake Pearland, UH System - Northwest and UH Sugar Land, as well as a multi-institution teaching center, UH System Cinco Ranch. In addition, the System owns and operates Houston Public Media (HPM). HPM comprises KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio station; KUHA-FM, Houston’s 24-hour classical music station; and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station. To learn more about the UH System, visit http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/.