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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Many problems with proposed fee increase

After the $9 per credit hour tuition increase that went into effect in January, students may have stifled their complaints with the hope that they had seen the end of escalating tuition bills, at least for their time at Texas A&M.
Unfortunately, it may only be the beginning.
On Jan. 27, University President Robert M. Gates announced a proposal to increase tuition in the fall by 21 percent, totaling about $300 more for a 14-hour semester.
When the motivations and reasoning behind the proposed tuition increase are examined, it seems obvious that faulty logic and ignorant blind-sightedness toward Vision 2020 are at the root of the problem.
The additional tuition funds would mostly be put toward increasing the number of faculty and encouraging diversity, but a large chunk of it will go toward scholarships, the foremost one a “Regent Scholar Program.” The program guarantees $5,000 a year for students who are first generation college students and whose parents make less than $40,000 annually, according to The Houston Chronicle.
While the scholarship does provide substantial relief for some, it cuts off others who may need scholarships just as badly, granting preference based on factors that one cannot control. Many students who come from middle class families do not qualify for need-based scholarships but still struggle to pay tuition and are now left with few options. The $2.8 million allotted to Regent Scholar students would better serve the majority by lessening the tuition burden for all.
In his Jan. 27 presentation, Gates stated that the University’s main areas of focus would be faculty, students, diversity and space. Closer examination of these admirable goals reveals the money spent on diversity initiatives could be invested in the hiring of faculty.
Diversity, in theory, is not a bad thing. It is the skewed definition that Gates and other administrators have of diversity that creates a problem for the students whose money goes to pay for the recruitment of a designated racial group. True diversity through majors, hometowns, cultures, talents and backgrounds is favorable to all. Racial diversity should be the overflow of that, not the target.
Gates attempted to soften the blow of the increase by pointing out that 70 percent of A&M students receive some form of financial aid. This fact only confirms the dramatic effect the increased tuition would have. If 70 percent of students already need financial aid to pay their tuition and bills, the escalating prices will only worsen the problem. The majority of those who receive financial aid do so in the form of student loans. The tuition increase would add more debt to be paid off, but with interest. The other large group of financial aid recipients is student workers. If administrators expect student workers to pay 21 percent more for tuition, their salaries should increase proportionately.
While it is clear that A&M does have a need to increase the number of tenured faculty members, doing so only to improve A&M’s rankings among similar colleges is frivolous. The constant comparison with other large state universities is meaningless unless Gates addresses the needs of A&M students as his utmost priority.
In his Jan. 27 presentation, Gates attempted to justify the increase by comparing tuition prices with A&M’s counterparts, but overlooked the fact that the tuition increase will cause current students to pay for improvements to the University while most of them will not directly receive any of the benefits.
Unfortunately for underclassmen, Gates is not done. Had it not been for the students on the Tuition Advisory Council requests, the increase would have been more drastic. An increase for 2005 has already been mentioned.
When Texas legislators chose to deregulate tuition this summer, they simultaneously promised not to slap students with dramatic tuition increases. Unfortunately, the situation is out of their control due to the power given to the Board of Regents, which will vote on the tuition increase March 25-26.
Should the Regents choose to implement the increase, students will not only have been lied to, but will be forced to pay for changes they didn’t request.

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