UT System Won't Raise In-State Tuition, So Now What?

Students in the University of Texas system can get their education and keep (some of) their money, too.

The UT System Board of Regents unanimously voted Tuesday not to raise in-state tuition at any of the system's nine institutions.

According to UT spokesperson Karen Adler, the proposed tuition hikes varied at each institution, but would've raised tuition for in-state undergraduates by 2 to 3 percent at each UT school.

"We know that UT campuses have goals and aspirations to be the best among their peers," UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said in a press release. "But we have to make sure those students can afford their college education and don't graduate mired in debt. It is a very real and critical problem affecting students across the country. We are in the unique position at this time to be able to consider other revenue streams to our institutions while keeping tuition affordable for our students."

Those other revenue streams include the Available University Fund. The AUF distributes funds from the Permanent University Fund, an endowment established by the Texas Constitution in 1876.

Constitutionally, only UT Austin is allowed to receive AUF money to fund operations. Regents said they will provide its flagship campus enough money from the AUF to at least match the revenue a tuition increase would have brought in.

The UT System's other eight institutions -- at Arlington, at Brownsville, at Dallas, at El Paso, at San Antonio, at Tyler, at Permian Basin and Pan American -- will not get the same treatment as the Austin campus. (And they don't get to live in Austin? Rough.)

However, the AUF can be used on those eight schools under certain circumstances. The board approved a motion to look into ways to utilize the AUF for the other eight.

"We realize that campuses are facing very real economic challenges and we are committed to making sure our campus leaders have the resources they need to continue and improve upon the excellence in teaching and research that occur every day," Regents Chairman Paul Foster said.

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