A&M regents approve 21 percent tuition increase

The Associated Press State & Local Wire
March 27, 2004

Texas A&M University students will see a 21 percent tuition increase next fall.

The A&M system board of regents approved the increase Friday. It will increase tuition for a 15-hour class load from $3,030 to $3,675.

The increase is expected to produce almost $23 million in revenue, which will be used to hire more than 400 faculty members, increase salaries add financial aid.

"No one wants to increase college costs, but we have certain goals to improve the educational caliber of the university and it's important we have the resources to do it," said Lowry Mays, chairman of A&M's board of regents.

Regent Susan Rudd Wynn said the increase was necessary so as not to sacrifice the quality of education.

"Even with these increases, which are painful, A&M is still a bargain for higher education," she said.

Some students had asked that the tuition increase be lowered or rejected.

"My dream was to come to this university, graduate and get an Aggie ring," said Juston Thompson, a junior agricultural student. "But there's no way I'll be able to afford this increase."

The Legislature deregulated tuition last year, giving universities the authority to raise tuition as needed.

The University of Texas at Austin raised tuition and fees 26 percent from fall 2003 to fall 2004. UT-El Paso increased 28 percent, and Texas Tech University has proposed a 20 percent increase.

"I think we're trying to limit the pain as much as possible," A&M President Robert Gates said. "This is just something that has to be done to maintain the quality of education."