Republican legislators look to do away with tuition set-aside programs in upcoming session
- Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick indicated as a priority for 2017 ending programs that set aside tuition dollars for financial aid for low-income students at higher education institutions, arguing that the law is a “hidden tax” on wealthy and middle-class families.
- Two such programs currently exist: one that began following the deregulation tuition in 2003 that required 15-20% of tuition increases to be set aside for aid, and another from 1975 requiring 15% of the first $50 charged per semester hour go to financial aid.
- Democrats and experts have argued that ending the programs without a simultaneous investment of state funding (an estimated $345 million) would make higher education inaccessible for lower-middle and low-income students, disproportionately impacting black and Latino students and institutions.
“Lt. Gov. Patrick favors scrapping key college financial aid program; many lawmakers unsure” (The Houston Chronicle)
“How Dan Patrick’s plan to slash tuition grants could keep some Texans from college” (The Dallas Morning News, August 2016)
“Lt. Gov. Patrick Slams Universities for Tuition Increases” (The Texas Tribune, April 2016)