About Tuition Deregulation

Prior to 2003, the Texas Legislature had the regulatory authority to set tuition rates, generally mandating that the same statutory and designated tuition rate be charged across the state. In 2003 the 78th Legislature passed HB 3015, amending TEC §54.0513 to allow governing boards of public universities to set different designated tuition rates. There is no upper limit on the amount of designated tuition that a university may charge and the amounts may vary by program, course level, and academic period. Tuition deregulation became effective September 1, 2003, and universities began increasing designated tuition in spring 2004.

From fall 2003 through fall 2009, the statewide average total academic charges for a student taking 15 SCHs at a public university has increased by 72 percent.

While authorizing the increase in designated tuition, HB 3015 also added TEC Sections 56.011 and 56.012, which require universities to set-aside at least 15 percent of the amount of resident undergraduate and graduate designated tuition charges in excess of $46 per SCH. This set-aside is to be used to provide financial assistance for undergraduate or graduate students and is intended to lessen the impact of tuition deregulation.


Universities are also required to set-aside an additional 5 percent of undergraduate resident designated tuition over $46 per SCH to fund the Texas B-on-Time Student Loan Program. There is also a 15 percent set aside on statutory tuition, which is current $50 per SCH. The total financial aid set-asides (not including BOT) on designated tuition only for fiscal years 2005-2008 was $248 million for undergraduates and $48 million for graduate students.