The Price Is Right
University bucks national trend by holding the line on tuition and fees
Jennifer Fox will experience déjà vu when she gets her bill for the fall 2012 semester. For the first time in more than a decade, UT Arlington will not increase tuition, fees, or student room and board.
“We are committed to keeping UT Arlington as affordable as possible while continuing to build a first-rate university.”
The decision was good news for Fox and the more than 33,000 students pursuing degrees at the University. As Student Congress president, she hears the stories of fellow Mavericks who struggle to make ends meet.
“Many UT Arlington students work full or part time to put themselves through school. A lot of our students also have families to support,” says Fox, an educational leadership and policy studies graduate student. “Not having to pay more for tuition eases their financial burden and keeps them on track to achieving their ultimate goal of earning a degree.”
UT Arlington charges an average of $9,292 in tuition and fees for 12 or more semester credit hours in the fall and spring semesters. This compares favorably with comprehensive research institutions in Texas and nationally. The University’s room and board averaged $7,554 for the 2011-12 academic year, though rates vary by residence hall or apartment property.
“As state funding for UT Arlington has declined—and as state and federal support for financial aid programs shrinks—students and their families have been forced to shoulder more of the financial responsibility for attending college through increased tuition,” President James D. Spaniolo says. “We are committed to keeping UT Arlington as affordable as possible while continuing to build a first-rate university.”
State-assisted universities have been directed to return a portion of appropriated funds in recent years in response to declining state revenues. Such economic uncertainty makes it difficult to predict whether the University will request a tuition increase for 2013–14 or in subsequent academic years.
“Students are impressed that the administration is concerned about the affordability of their education,” Fox says. “But they want to ensure that the quality of their education is maintained, and they don’t want reductions in student services.”
No such reductions are forthcoming, says President Spaniolo, who adds that UT Arlington will continue to pursue excellence and invest in the strategic priorities of a major national research university.