In an effort to bolster several areas of school administration and research, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) has announced that the institutional tuition rate will increase in the 2014 fall semester, depending on the health care discipline studied. The University has indicated that the increase in tuition is necessary to generate new revenues in order to fund several key areas of the institution, including an increase in need-based student financial aid, recruiting and retaining qualified faculty and staff, and for other general operating expenses for the school.
TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D. put the tuition increase in the context of keeping the school’s high level of training, as well as remaining competitive: “We are proud of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s record of providing excellent training for future health care professionals for Texas and the rest of the country,” he said, adding, “Even with this increase, tuition rates at TTUHSC remain competitive with other nursing, medical, allied health sciences, biomedical sciences and pharmacy programs throughout the state.”
The tuition increases vary by discipline. For example, for students enrolled in the School of Allied Health Sciences, the TTUHSC School of Nursing, and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, tuition will increase from $125 per semester credit hour to $130 per semester credit hour. Those studying at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will see an increase from $80 per semester credit hour to $85 per semester credit hour. Finally, there will be an increase from $175 per semester credit hour to $185 per semester credit hour for students enrolled in the School of Pharmacy, and from a $7,500 annual rate to $8,000 annual rate for students enrolled in the TTUHSC School of Medicine and the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. The school press release did not stipulate what factors went into the decision to raise tuition rates disproportionately across different schools.
Also part of the new tuition increases handed down by the Finance and Administration Committee of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents was the establishment of “an academic department instructional assessment fee to be assessed at a flat rate per student not to exceed $300 per academic term.” A school press release went on to note that, “the amount of the fee is to be determined by each academic program. It is further recommended that course fees, currently assessed at a rate of $3 to $45 per course, be eliminated.”
Whil tuition increases are rarely welcomed news by students, TTUHSC is quick to point out that the “allied health sciences, pharmacy and biomedical sciences tuition and fees for the 2014-15 academic year will rank second-lowest out of six peer institutions in Texas, including the University of Texas and Texas A&M University . . . TTUHSC ranks third- and fourth-lowest for medical education tuition and fees; and third-and fifth-lowest for nursing education costs.”