Students at Texas Woman’s University can expect to pay more for classes this fall following the Board of Regents approval of an increase in overall tuition and fees earlier this month.
Designated tuition will rise from $176.30 to $180.70 per credit hour following the Finance and Affairs Committee’s Feb. 21 approval of a 2.5% increase for the 2021 fiscal year. Tuition will increase again to $186 per credit hour the following year unless Chancellor and President Carine Feyten changes it based on Higher Education Price Index projections, which have not yet been released for 2022. HEPI estimates the cost of inflation for universities, Vice President of Finance and Administration Jason Tomlinson said, and is what TWU used to calculate the new rates.
The board also approved increases in differential tuition — higher tuition rates limited to students in more expensive programs — for Education, Visual Arts, Physical Therapy, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Communication Sciences & Oral Health. The fees will cover the operating and equipment expenses of the programs, and many of the rates put forward for approval are less than department requests, Feyten said.
“Everyone submits requests, and our philosophy has been we want to keep in mind the demographics of the students we serve, and we want to make sure we stay affordable,” Feyten told the board. “Their needs are probably much greater than what we’re willing to ask you…but we have to balance that with the market, the students, and we want to remain true to our mission.”
Administrators also informed the board that the Scientific Research Commons at Bell Avenue and Texas Street — formerly Science and Technology Learning Center — is expected to be move-in ready this July.
Other changes approved by the board include the use of $1.4 million for the design and construction of maintenance and infrastructure projects in Guinn and Stark Halls, the renaming of the Undergraduate Laboratory Building to the Fine Arts Annex, and two new degree programs: a Bachelor in Business Administration in Health Care Administration and a Professional Science Master of Biotechnology.
The Professional Science Master of Biotechnology is designed to prepare students for business-related positions in the biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries, while the bachelor’s business degree in health care administration will serve as a new route to master’s degrees in business and health care, according to a TWU news release.
Both programs will launch this fall.
The changes are just some of many the university is considering. Administrators held hearings Feb. 5 and 6 to solicit student opinions on the increases in tuition, parking permit fee increases and more proposed adjustments in campus parking.
The Parking Committee proposed raising the cost of commuter permits from $70 to $200 annually and resident permits to $125 last semester. Motorcycle permits are also set to increase from $30 to $200 if the changes are approved.
Tomlinson said the increase is necessary to meet the cost of operating parking in the face of declining permit sales.
The university is also considering requests for parking changes on campus, including adding parking to the east side of campus, establishing daily or hourly rates, running golf cart shuttles and designating parking for students leaving the library and Fitness and Recreation Center late at night.
Junior English major Gabrielle Griffin, who attended a Resident Hall Association meeting held last week to discuss parking, said positive change cannot come soon enough.
“I think that if they had more parking spots, you know, people’s issues and having to park so far away would change,” Griffin said. “It’s the way that they’re classifying parking — so it’s making it hard for residents to be places [and] it’s making it hard for residents to have visitors. At this point, it’s making it hard for commuters because then there is tension all-around.”
Tomlinson said the parking permit fee increases fall under a different budgetary category than tuition and will come before the Board of Regents at their next meeting in August.
To listen to a livestream of the meetings, visit the Board of Regents web page.
Amber Gaudet can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image: Jason Tomlinson discusses proposed parking fee changes at a Resident Hall Association Town Hall Feb. 26. Increases in permit fees are among several being considered by Texas Woman’s University this year.