The Impact of Rising University Fees in Texas
The university fees have continued to climb annually in the pursuit of higher education in Texas. The hiking of the fee has presented many challenges to the Texas students as well as their parents who bear the burden of the increased cost of the tuition fees. For more than a decade, the public colleges have doubled their tuition and fees after the legislature gave the universities the discretion to set their own prices in 2003. The supporters of the deregulation of these tuition fees argued that the step would facilitate for the effectiveness of services offered by various universities, giving students chances to consider the best institution that would give the value of their dollar in respect to the quality of education offered. Additionally, education institutions would put more effort in offering a high-quality education that gives them a competitive advantage over other potential competitors (Wermund, n.p).
The Consequences of Deregulation
On the other hand, even as the deregulation concept seems to make sense in the free traditional markets, there is a national feeling that there were failures in various proponents of laws in taking into consideration the debt explosion presented by students' loans.
According to Wermund, the approach has received a lot of critics as the student loans seem s to surpass the other debts and most probably become one of the largest source of debt in Texas (n.p). On the other hand, the state has little taken on these costs due to various economic shortcomings that faced the United States such as inflation and the growing enrollment. The funding was affected way back in 2001 where the government was faced with challenges emanating from the great recession along with the decline in the collection of tax revenue. On the other hand, I feel as if the step was taken in an attempt to contain the financial threat presented by the Great Recession. In addition, the decline to support the higher education has been associated with the difficult choices by the state in response to the rising pension contribution along with the mandatory programs such as Medicaid and the economic trends that affect various operations.
The Burden on Students and Lenders
These deep funding cut by the states have negative consequences for both the parents and the public universities and colleges. Since the occurrence of the Great Recession, the higher education institutions have increased tuition fees in an attempt to compensate for the rising costs and declined state funding. As such, students have suffered immensely as these costs accelerate the trends in term duration making it less affordable to students. The burden of students' loans has been categorized as the second largest source of debt in the state which has even doubled further over the last decade. On the other hand, lenders have taken advantage of the situation as these loans are vulnerable to bankruptcy and the insatiable demand of these loans motivates them to issues students with the product (Schwertner, n.p). Majority of these companies have made it easy for students to access their loans making it possible for them to get dissociated from the true cost they incur form their education. Students may have the perception that these loans are much easier to get and fail to understand the real value they get from education as compared to the amount of money they are paying.
The Role of Student Loans in Access to Education
In my opinion, there is no bigger problem for students to secure some amount of loans to pay for their education. In fact, students loans play a substantial role in ensuring that the less privileged in terms of fees have the opportunity to get access to education as well as career opportunities which are not easy to get. On the other hand, problems arise when these cost rises much higher making it impossible for students to cater for their educational fees and the option to secure a loan may be seen as the only realistic approach to pursue a better life. In the current situation, Texas students are so unfortunate as the burden has been too much for the growing number that depends on these loans to access educational services (McGauphy, and Mcswane n.p). Majority of them have been continually shortchanged by the unintended consequences of the deregulation. The general perception from both students and parents is that the legislature has given the public universities a perverse incentive to expand their own operating budgets. Before the institutions were given the discretion and flexibility of setting out their own rates, students were paying less than $1900 per semester for a full-time program. Ever since 2003, these rates have doubled and thus, one cannot be expected to believe that the worth of undergraduate degree can be legitimized by the doubling of the fee in a decade time (Watkins and Daniel, n.p)
The Impact on Students and Staff
Additionally, the policy may not be favorable as students have been subjected to a huge struggle in repaying the exorbitant cost, making it impossible for them to afford a small business or even a house. According to Mitchell, Leachman, and Masterson, more than 46% of Graduates from U.S colleges have been recorded to be underemployed and most of them engage in jobs that do not necessarily require educational certification (10). On the other hand, staffs from the public university are also facing various challenges emanating from these funding cuts. For instance, the higher education has been relatively flexible in the budget constraints associated with unpredictable funding patterns from the state. As such, the approach is volatile and presents negative impacts on the institution's operations thus, reducing their attractiveness from employees as well as complicating their long-term planning.
Solutions and Recommendations
In conclusion, there have been attempts by some states to restore some of the deep cuts with an aim to support the higher education funding. On the other hand, there is a general feeling that these efforts are way below the previous levels (Cardona, n.p). Thus, it is the responsibility of the state lawmakers to increase the revenue by making a sound budget and tax decisions required in public educational institutions to facilitate for s high-quality and affordable education. Additionally, it is important to overlook the fact that the operating costs in the public universities are much higher as compared to the other operating costs in both private and public sector. Universities should also be sensitive while formulating tuition rates that will yield value for the students and make more affordable for their parents.
Benjamin Wermund, “College Tuition on the Rise in Texas, Far Exceeding Household Income
Growth.” Houston Chronicle, 2016.
Benjamin Wermund.“Tuition on the Rise at Texas Universities,” Houston Chronicle, 2015.
Charles Schwertner, “Tuition Deregulation is Failing Texas Students.” Texas Tribune, 2014.
Clare Cardona, “Texas College Tuition Up 55% Since 2003 Deregulation, Analysis Shows.” Dallas Morning News, 2012
Lauren McGaughy and J. David McSwane, “Who’s a Better Steward When It Comes to Texas College Costs?” Dallas Morning News, 2016.
Matthew Watkins and Annie Daniel.“Texas Families are Struggling to Pay for College—But So is the State,” Texas Tribune, 2017.
Michael Mitchell, Michael Leachman, and Kathleen Masterson.“A Lost Decade in Higher Education