The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Tuition freeze leaves many in the cold

Gov. Rick Perry wants Texans to have a fair shot at a college education. In September, he said he plans to push for a tuition freeze at public colleges during the next legislative session in January.

Basically, a freeze would lock in a student’s freshman tuition rate for the subsequent four years of school. Perry’s intention is a notable effort to address the reality of skyrocketing tuition increases resulting from state budget cuts.

The freeze is exciting news to those freshmen who can plow through four straight years of college without any roadblocks, but what about the students who won’t finish college in four years?

What about the TCC student who works a full-time job and can take only six hours a semester or the single parent who can take classes only one night a week?

They won’t finish college in four years.

What measures are being considered to keep tuition costs from rising year after year for students who simply need more time to finish school?

Perry’s business-like incentive to students is straightforward and idealistic, but people can’t just quit their jobs and go to school full time without taking on additional debt.

Today’s students are not solely high school graduates taking the next step by enrolling in college. America is in the midst of a shaky economy with a staggering unemployment rate. Many people are returning to school to get specific vocational training or are enrolled in programs that extend beyond four years of study.

Plus, the U.S. Department of Education’s rising statistic of college graduates defaulting on student loans within two years of starting repayments contributes to the pause in enthusiasm about receiving loans for the sole purpose of getting through college quickly.

Perry also challenged universities to help students graduate by linking state funding to the number of students receiving degrees. So the old “butts in seats” incentive in which universities were awarded funding for the number of students enrolled is being replaced with the “light a match under students’ butts” incentive.

Guaranteeing a traditional college education in a traditional college setting without raising tuition is a pragmatic solution for some.

We get what Gov. Perry wants to do. What we want is for him to get what we need for us to get that fair shot at an education.

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