Ashton Curlee, the ambitious daughter of two teachers, received official notification of her acceptance to the new Texas Science Scholar Program at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin on the first day of college.
“It’s a really awesome program,” said Ms. Curlee, a native of Monahans. “There’s a lot of good stuff that comes along with it.”
Savings top that list. If Ms. Curlee stays on track, maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and completing 30 hours of course work each school year, she will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2016. Instead of paying more than $6,300 per academic year in tuition and fees — the current cost for a regular student — Ms. Curlee will pay $2,500 per year.
That adds up to a $10,000 degree, a notion that has taken on grail-like status in some Texas higher education circles as the state struggles to address rising tuition at its public universities.
In Gov. Rick Perry’s 2011 State of the State address, he called on the state’s universities to create degrees that cost no more than $10,000, including books. And he reiterated his desire for those institutions to lock in tuition rates for four years for incoming students. Some schools scrambled to create low-cost degrees, but the latter request was largely ignored.
Mr. Perry recently signaled his intention to once again call for a four-year tuition guarantee during the coming legislative session, teeing up a conversation about the rising price of a college education that he has been eager to engage in. (Read more.)