In 2012, several state colleges have voted in favor of freezing college tuition for students over the course of their four years. Freezing college tuition guarantees that students’ fees will not increase from semester to semester or from quarter to quarter. Pubic college students may be able to empathize with the feeling of uncertainty and frustration that accompanies double-digit tuition hikes each quarter.
Texas Governor, Rick Perry, recently expressed his support for freezing college tuition in Texas’s state universities. Perry believes that college seniors should pay the same amount for tuition as they did when they were college freshman. Public colleges should not be allowed to increase tuition from one year to the next. In Texas, Perry wants to push for this legislation in the next legislative session.
The responses to Perry’s proposal have been mostly positive because freezing tuition has a high possibility of encouraging a consistent four year graduation rate. However, opposition to the legislation claims that four year tuition freezes would end up punishing those who took longer to finish their degree.
Still the fact remains that freezing college tuition ultimately protects students from fluctuating college prices. Now that state funding for public education is under huge budget cuts, this legislation is more important than ever. It also helps ensure that colleges will be able to keep students enrolled. Mid-year tuition hikes have caused some students to drop out of school because of financial problems. In many states, colleges must remain competitive not only academic-wise, but tuition-wise, in order to maintain and/or increase enrollment.
This year, several colleges have established some form of tuition freeze. A few of them are:
- UT Dallas
- Temple University
- UMass Law
- University of Maine
- Maine Community Colleges
- Arizona Public Universities
- University of Texas at Austin
Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University system has also been considering similar tuition reform.