The University of Texas system is taking some heat for charging students up to $20 per credit hour, a move that has been met with outrage from some community college students.
But it’s not just students and faculty who are upset about the tuition hike.
Some community colleges are also scrambling to meet their new student-loan obligations, as the state struggles to make up for a shortfall in funding.
“It’s hard to get the money,” said Lauren, who asked that her last name not be used.
“It’s very hard.”
Students, faculty and administrators say it’s important to keep in mind the higher tuition will be paid by the state, not students.
“I think it’s a shame that we’re being charged for our education.
I don’t think that’s the right way to do it,” said Marlene, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin.
She added, “We can’t have tuition hikes that are going to hurt students.”
Some students and college leaders have voiced concerns that the state will try to increase tuition rates even if they’re not going up, and they’ve suggested the Legislature do more to help them.
“We know that we don’t have a huge amount of money to be able to pay tuition at these community colleges,” said Sarah Ehrhardt, director of the state Department of Higher Education.
She said the department will have to work with the state and other partners to help students pay for their educations, but she declined to comment further.
The Texas Association of Community Colleges said it plans to fight the hike.
The association, which represents about 100 community colleges in the state that are public universities, said it will push for a higher loan repayment rate and increased support for students who are under 25 and students who do not have full-time work.
Students say they can’t afford to pay more.
One student said she’s struggling to make ends meet with a $22,000-a-year scholarship she received at UT in 2010.
“My parents pay for it, so I don