By Yesenia Camacho
A public hearing was held Thursday in the conference room to brief the University community on the proposed increase on the University’s academic fees for fiscal year 2012.
“This hearing is to inform students of the plans we are making as far as any changes we are making on tuition and fees for the 2012 fiscal year,” said Stephanie Scott, Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s assistant vice president for financial services. While tuition will remain the same for undergraduate students, fees will be added and increased.
Rick Trefzer, assistant vice president for Finance and Administration said the increase in student fees is necessary to make up for the recent reduction in state funding, the multipurpose building currently under construction located on Loop 410 S between Zarzamora and Moursund Roads and to accommodate greater enrollment, space and staffing additions.
The proposed changes in are as follows: resident undergraduates will maintain the current tuition costs; however, graduate students will need to pay an additional $50 in tuition. The proposed changes to the mandatory student fees include: a $7 per semester credit hour advising fee rather than the $25 fixed per semester format that is currently in place, an increase from $10 to $11 per semester credit hour for library access, an increase on the technology fee from $14 to $15 per semester credit hour, and a first semester orientation increase from the current cost of $10 to $50.
Students taking twelve hours of coursework in Fall 2011 can expect their total payment for the semester to rise 13 percent for a total increase of $297.60, from $2,283.00 to total of $2,580.60.
The University has also proposed new university fees which include a $40 distance learning fee, a $3 per semester credit hour energy fee, a $7 safety and security fee and a possible computing device fee of up to $500 that according to Trefzer’s PowerPoint, will be used to provide a tablet (iPad or similar device) or netbook for students to own or rent. The details of this program are still under development.
With the addition of the proposed changes in fees, the University’s Fiscal Year 2012 projected revenue will increase from the current amount of $1,755,052 to $3,107,764. The increase in student fees is not likely to divert prospective students away from enrolling, university officials said, because the institution’s overall cost of tuition will remain less than that of other universities. During the public hearing, Trefzer presented a comparative cost chart detailing the relative cost of Texas A&M-San Antonio in relation to the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Even with the proposed increases, documentation provided during the public hearing detailed tuition at A&M-San Antonio for fall 2011 at 22 percent less than the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“Even with the changes, we are around $783 cheaper than UTSA,” Trefzer said.