Dear UT community:
Today, the UT System Board of Regents approved the first tuition increase for Texas resident undergraduates since 2011. I thank the Board of Regents for its thoughtful and deliberate consideration. The UT Austin increase was developed by the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, made up of students, faculty members and administrators, last fall after several public forums.
The tuition increase for resident undergraduate students will be approximately $152 total per semester for the 2016-17 academic year and an additional $152 per semester for 2017-18; these are increases of 3.1 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively, for the next two academic years. Similar percentage increases will apply to non-resident undergraduate students, and graduate and professional school students. The exact amount of the tuition increase varies slightly by college and school. The final tuition tables will be posted here in about one week.
I know that for many students and their families, this tuition increase is not welcome news. But it is vital for the university to fulfill our mission of achieving excellence in undergraduate education, graduate education, research and public service. We will use the new funds to continue improving undergraduate student success through advising, counseling and support programs that help students graduate in four years and, ultimately, spend less on tuition. We are working to raise the four-year graduation rate to 70 percent by 2017; already, we are at 57.7 percent — the highest in UT history.
Revenue from the tuition increase will also allow us to recruit and retain top faculty members to work directly with students and help them receive a world-class education.
The university receives 21 percent of our budget through tuition with the rest coming largely through state support, external research funding and philanthropy. We continually look for new ways to reduce costs without compromising quality so that UT remains affordable for students of all backgrounds. UT is still a tremendous value with tuition less than many other public research universities in Texas — and we have one of the lowest tuition rates for public flagship research universities in the nation.
We are united by one core purpose at The University of Texas at Austin: to transform lives for the benefit of society. This tuition increase will help UT provide the first-class education the Texas Constitution mandates. Thank you for your continued dedication and hard work.
Gregory L. Fenves