Out-of-staters to see tuition hike at Texas A&M
- Out-of-state undergraduate students at Texas A&M University pay about $15,000 annually to attend the university, but starting next year, that price will increase by $3,000.
- The Texas Tribune reports on the motivation for the tuition increase, the second in two years at the school which officials say is designed to match costs associated with inflation, and aimed at increasing in-state enrollment.
- TAMU draws nearly 95% percent of its undergraduate enrollment from in-state students, and officials say the increase makes up the difference for out-of-state families not paying into Texas' tax system, and will yield more than $2 million in revenue for the institution.
Raising tuition for out-of-state students only could be seen as a way to raise revenue while contending with the tuition freezes instituted on publics in many states, in response to the growing pressure to keep college affordable. It is an idea already being floated in Wisconsin and California as a way to close budget gaps. If Texas A&M administrators are correct in their projection that such a move increases in-state enrollment, it could be used as a model for public institutions to quell the debate in many states around the balancing act of admitting a sufficient number of in-state students to public institutions. The ability to attract in-state students is important for both public and private institutions because of its implications on total costs for attendance in housing, transportation and other auxiliary charges for education.
But college leaders also must consider the message being sent to out-of-state and potential international students about how much they are valued if their costs are being monitored. While inflation and other elements of budget management do matter, larger research institutions may find that pricing out-of-state students out of education may drive down a major portion of revenue which may not easily be made up by increasing in-state enrollment. These decisions must be supplemented with aggressive strategies for online learning development, merit and need-based scholarship provision, and private investment to make up the possible losses.