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In his most aggressive terms yet, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick excoriated Texas universities for raising their tuition in recent years, suggesting that the Texas Senate will try to limit tuition growth when it reconvenes next year.
At a press conference Tuesday before a meeting of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Patrick pointed to graphs detailing how total academic charges at the state's universities have grown 147 percent since 2002. Median household income in the United States has grown just 32 percent during that time, he said.
"People did not send us here to Austin to allow universities to raise tuition five times their salaries," Patrick said.
Patrick said "everything is on the table" in terms of legislative remedies if such growth continues.
"What we are asking is for our universities to be as fiscally responsible as we ask ourselves to be and for our agencies to be," he said. "They are not an exception."
He later added, "They need to scrub their budgets like we scrub ours. Every dollar that they spend needs to be scrubbed."
The average total cost at Texas’ four-year universities for an undergraduate taking 15 hours is $4,179. That’s up from $1,693 in 2002.
For more in the subject:
- College tuition on the rise in Texas, far exceeding household income growth.
- Analysis: Raising College Tuition, Deflecting the Blame.
- The Rising Price of Higher Education.