April 28, 2009

The University of Houston may or may not see a tuition increase for the 2009-2010 academic year.

The UH System Board of Regents recently approved a proposed tuition increase range of 0 – 5 percent that would be implemented starting this fall.

The board is required to set tuition rates for the UH System for this upcoming academic year, however, it is unable to focus on a firm number until the Texas Legislature submits the state’s budget.

“Until the legislature sets the state’s budget in June, we can only propose this range of 0 – 5 percent,” said Welcome Wilson, chairman of the UHS Board of Regents. “This range will allow us some flexibility as we wait to see what the budget will look like.”

Based on this range, the maximum rate increase would take undergraduate general designated tuition from $117.50 to $131.50 per hour. For graduate general designated tuition hours, the maximum increase would go from $126.15 to $141.50 per hour.

While it remains to be seen whether UH will experience a tuition increase, students already have options to save money through specific programs and scholarships.

One such option is the university’s Graduation Pledge Program, which offers students up to $3,000 in tuition funds. Through this program, incoming, first-time-in-college students at UH who complete 30 credit hours toward a degree on campus within 12 months will be eligible for scholarships of $500 to apply toward the next year’s tuition and fees. If they complete 60 hours after two years, they will receive scholarships of $1,000. Those completing 90 hours within three academic years will receive $1,500.

Incoming freshman can also receive discounted courses through The Jump. Freshman participating in this program have an opportunity to take two summer courses for the price of one.

Also, students with family incomes at or below $30,000 are eligible for the Cougar Promise, which guarantees free tuition and mandatory fees to new in-state freshmen.

Additionally, certain core courses offered through Weekend U are discounted by $12 per semester credit hour.

Students can learn more about UH’s tuition incentives by visiting https://ssl.uh.edu/financial/undergraduate/types-aid/incentives/ and can get more details on Weekend U. at http://www.weekendu.uh.edu/faq.html.