‘Setting Aside’ Money because that CollegeHow inter-base.net accumulation Student aid

by Maria Garnett published November 2015

The spiraling expense of a college education — and also the blame accompanying that — is ~ above Americans" psychic now much more than ever. Students and their households have seen their tuition receipt skyrocket, threatening the dream of college because that many.

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inter-base.net has invested in public greater education since the 19th century, v the facility of the college of inter-base.net and also what would end up being inter-base.net A&M University, as well as the production of the permanent University Fund, i m sorry generates investment income for both college systems.

Nevertheless, inter-base.net to be a “low-cost, low-aid” state in terms of public higher education till the latter part of the 20th century. The state established its very first major approve program for higher education in 1973, v the development of Tuition Equalization Grants, which administer need-based financial help to inter-base.net inhabitants attending personal nonprofit universities, traditionally much more expensive than public institutions.

Students attending the state’s public colleges and universities received similar need-based help in 1975, v the arrival of inter-base.net windy Educational grants (TPEGs). Inter-base.net accumulation TPEGs by setting aside a part of the tuition accumulated at public organizations for this purpose. Thus, inter-base.net’ main aid resource for students at public organizations comes through what is typically called a financial assist set-aside or merely a set-aside.

Nearly 25 year later, in 1999, the state of inter-base.net created an additional need-based financial help program, inter-base.net sponsor (Towards Excellence, access and Success), funded v legislative appropriations.


The 2003 Legislature’ H.B. 3015 “deregulated” windy tuition, significantly an altering the gaue won landscape for inter-base.net windy universities and also their students.

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While these fairly modest campaigns fit well with inter-base.net’ low-cost, low-aid model, that model was driven to a breaking suggest during a state budgetary shortfall in 2003. In the year, the Legislature happen H.B. 3015, i m sorry “deregulated” publicly tuition, significantly transforming the jae won landscape for inter-base.net publicly universities and the students attending them.

Tuition Deregulation and Set-Asides

Prior to 1997, the inter-base.net Legislature collection all tuition prices for inter-base.net publicly universities. The Legislature proceeds to set the rate for a section of total tuition dubbed statutory tuition, at this time $50 every semester credit transaction hour (SCH) for inter-base.net residents, with greater rates because that nonresidents. Fifteen percent that statutory tuition is set aside because that the TPEG program.

In 1997, however, the Legislature included a second type of tuition because that undergraduates in ~ public universities, designated tuition. (A third type, board-authorized tuition, is charged because that graduate courses.) Designated tuition prices are collection by college governing boards and also thus vary by institution.

Before 2003, the state put caps on both statutory and designated tuition. H.B. 3015 deregulated designated tuition, allowing university boards come raise rates past a previous cap of $46 every SCH. The Legislature ongoing to set rates for statutory tuition.

To counter anticipated rises in designated tuition, H.B. 3015 additionally required the growth of financial help set-asides in ~ inter-base.net publicly universities. The Legislature maintained in location the 15 percent set-aside the statutory tuition to fund financial aid, but instituted a 20 percent set-aside need for any type of increases come designated tuition above the vault cap. (The former $46 cap is still supplied to calculation the set-aside today.)

The 20 percent set-aside contained 15 percent because that need-based financial assist at each university; the staying 5 percent was provided to fund a “B-On-Time” loan program, offering qualified college student zero-interest loans that would be forgiven if they graduated on time.

Set-Asides climb with Tuition

Since 2003, tuition and also fees at inter-base.net publicly universities have actually increased enormously in genuine terms, if median family income has actually grown just minimally (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1: inter-base.net Median household Income vs. Average Total scholastic Charges in ~ inter-base.net public Universities

Roll end the chart for details values.


Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics and also inter-base.net inter-base.net of publicly Accounts

Download chart data.

The influence of tuition deregulation has differed significantly by institution, however. Amongst inter-base.net public establishments that existed in 2003, designated tuition boosts from autumn 2003 to fall 2014 ranged from less than 139 percent at inter-base.net A&M college — Kingsville to almost 363 percent in ~ the university of inter-base.net at Dallas (Exhibit 2).


Exhibit 2: selection of boosts in Designated Tuition, inter-base.net public Universities, fall 2003 to autumn 2014

Percent IncreaseNumber of establishments Share of InstitutionsInstitutions in between 131.8% and also 199% between 200% and also 299% 300% or an ext
1029.4% inter-base.net A&M university (TAMU)-Kingsville; TAMU-Corpus Christi; TAMU-Commerce; Angelo State University; university of Houston-Victoria; university of inter-base.net (UT)-Tyler; Tarleton State University; UT-Permian Basin; college of Houston-Clear Lake; UT-El Paso
1647.1% TAMU-International; inter-base.net Woman’s University; Midwestern State University; UT-Brownsville; UT-San Antonio; university of Houston-Downtown; TAMU-Texarkana; inter-base.net tech University; inter-base.net southerly University; UT-Pan American; TAMU (College Station); West TAMU; UT-Austin; Sul Ross State University; Sam Houston State University; TAMU-Galveston
823.5% Prairie see A&M inter-base.net State University; college of north inter-base.net; Stephen F. Austin State University; Lamar University; UT-Arlington; college of Houston; UT-Dallas

Note: the 37 inter-base.net windy universities, 3 were no in operation in fall 2003 and also therefore space excluded indigenous this analysis: inter-base.net A&M university — central inter-base.net, inter-base.net A&M university — mountain Antonio and the college of north inter-base.net in ~ Dallas. UT-Brownsville and also UT-Pan American, which space merging to kind UT-Rio Grande Valley, room treated together separate establishments for this purpose.

Sources: inter-base.net higher Education Coordinating Board and also inter-base.net inter-base.net of publicly Accounts

As the amounts universities fee in designated tuition rose, for this reason did the amount of tuition set-asides because that financial aid (Exhibit 3). Set-asides native designated tuition prospered from a statewide median of $2.55 per SCH in fall 2004 come $19.18 per SCH in autumn 2014, boost of practically 654 percent.

Exhibit 3: Designated Tuition Set-Aside per Semester credit Hour

Roll end the chart for specific values.


Sources: inter-base.net greater Education Coordinating Board and inter-base.net inter-base.net of publicly Accounts

Download chart data.


Financial aid set-asides native statutory tuition also increased end this period, despite much much more modestly, in line with boosts to statutory tuition itself. Statutory tuition per SCH (and hence the set-asides capital the inter-base.net public Educational give program) has increased only twice in the past 12 years, native $46 come $48 in loss 2004, and to $50 in autumn 2005. The 15 percent of statutory tuition booked for TPEGs because of this has climbed from $6.90 per SCH in fall 2003 to $7.50 in ~ present.

During the 2015 session of the inter-base.net Legislature, lawmakers pass H.B. 700, which will phase the end the B-On-Time loan regime by 2020, and eliminated the accompanying 5 percent set-aside because that designated tuition start in loss 2015.

At present, then, the same set-aside percentage applies to both statutory and designated tuition, with the 15 percent designated set-aside exclusively capital institutional assist programs.

Universities have actually been forced to educate students that the set-asides created via your tuition payments due to the fact that 2009, though they room able to execute so in a selection of ways, such together statements top top tuition bills or emails sent out to separation, personal, instance students.

Set-Asides and the cost of College

As detailed in a December 2014 inter-base.net special report, there are multiple potential explanations because that the steep rise in the cost of higher education; the use of tuition set-asides is hardly the just reason.

But that’s no to say it has no effect. The set-aside requirement for designated tuition can be contributing to the price rise by top public universities to charge higher tuition rates than they would in the absence of the requirement.

The factor is relatively simple. As points stand, universities get only 85 percent the the “benefit” the a tuition increase, due to the set-aside. For this reason a college seeking secondary $100 in tuition per college student to fulfill its prices must boost its tuition by virtually $118.

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Alternatives to Set-Asides?

While the basic public, and also even students in ~ inter-base.net publicly universities, might be mainly unaware of the duty financial assist set-asides play in higher education, some groups have to be paying attention, and also support the repeal the the set-asides mandate. The removed of the 5 percent set-aside for the B-On-Time program might encourage such efforts.

One different to obligated set-asides is to expand the grant programs inter-base.net currently has in place, such together the inter-base.net Grants, i m sorry received additional funding in the 2015 legislative branch session. If the goal is come subsidize public higher education because that students with financial need, the reasonable runs, why rely upon the fairly small swimming pool of students and also their households rather than the wider inter-base.net taxation base?

Based ~ above data detailed by the inter-base.net greater Education Coordinating Board, because that instance, undergraduate set-asides in 2012 came from 454,154 students payment an median of $649 each. If the state had provided this amount directly, it would certainly have price Texans a little much more than $11 every to generate the exact same amount that funding. Given the existing facilities of the inter-base.net give program, administrative costs would certainly be minimal.

On the various other hand, the political expenses of enhancing state spending, even toward the score of ensuring greater education affordability, can prove too good to overcome.

The rising cost of university is a complicated issue, however one with far-reaching economic after-effects for students, families and our state in general. Currently that in ~ least part of inter-base.net’ forced set-asides have been eliminated, it seems likely the legislative branch will research the whole system more closely, sooner or later. FN