In the spring semester of 2010 students of Texas colleges began receiving notices from their respective universities that a portion of their tuition (20% for undergraduate and 15% for graduate students) had been “set aside” for needs-based financial assistance programs for Texas residents as required by the Texas Education Code, Sections 56.011, 56.012, 56.095, and 56.465. After further research, it was discovered that this policy has been in effect since 2003 but it was only after passage of an amendment (Sec. 56.014) in 2009 that universities were required to send notification of this practice.
Texas Legislature passed HB 3015 in 2003 which deregulated tuition and enacted requirements that all public universities set aside a certain amount (up to 20%) of every student’s tuition each semester in order to fund needs-based financial assistance programs for other Texas residents.
Since 2003, tuition rates have increased 86%. As the costs associated with higher education have continued to rise, more students and families are struggling to pay for college and must find additional funding sources to meet the growing costs. Yet many of these same students are unaware that a significant portion of their tuition is used to provide financial assistance to other students. We are investigating this topic in detail and working with Legislators to put this “tax on education” policy to an end!