Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents on Friday approved a 1.65 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees for an average course load.
Tuition increased $3.84 per semester credit hour, or $57.60 for 15 credit hours, which is an average college load. That makes the total tuition and fees $3,273.92 for students taking 15 credit hours.
This change will become effective in the fall.
The increase will give TWU $900,000 in new revenue, said Brenda Floyd, vice president of finance and administration.
Money from the designated tuition, the part of tuition the university sets, is distributed to five categories: 72 percent of the money goes into departmental budgets, 11 percent goes toward scholarships, 8 percent of undergraduate tuition is set aside for need-based financial aid, 6 percent goes to debt retirement and 3 percent of graduate tuition is set aside for need-based financial aid.
The money set aside for need-based financial aid is designated by state law, said Richard Nicholas, vice president for student life.
Compared with other Texas universities, TWU has one of the lowest tuition costs, Floyd said.
TWU officials talked with students about the increase before it was approved and part of that discussion was the reason why it had to be increased.
“In this case ‘why’ is based on next year’s expenditures,” Nicholas said.
Floyd said the need in the cost of employee benefits alone will exceed the tuition revenue.
TWU will have to pay approximately $400,000 in benefits for adjunct faculty members plus $400,000 in benefits for current faculty and staff, she said.
Additionally, TWU plans to pay $300,000 in salary increases related to promotions and tenure for existing faculty, Floyd said.
“We will balance the budget,” Floyd said. “We’re just not at the point where we’ve finished. We’re just beginning really.”
TWU will continue to discuss the budget at its Board of Regents meeting in May and then it will be approved at the August meeting.
But tuition has to be set before students register in April, Floyd said.
Housing and meal plan rates also were increased for the fall semester.
Regents approved a 2 percent increase in housing rates and a 3.5 percent increase in meal plan rates.
Nicholas said the housing and meal plan are auxiliary fees.
TWU tries to do incremental increases each year so in a few years there won’t be a big jump for future students to incur, he said.
Nicholas told regents that increasing the meal plan rates was necessitated by the increased cost of food.
The majority of the money from meal plans goes to the contracted food service and some of the money goes to the university to cover overhead, he said.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.