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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

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‘No student will pay higher net tuition and fees’: Regents approve new fall 2023 tuition bill

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Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

President M. Katherine Banks speaks to faculty after delivering her State of the University at Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. 

Starting in the fall 2023, Texas A&M plans to allocate millions in additional scholarships to benefit incoming and current undergraduates, losing millions of dollars in revenue due to its new tuition system.

On Nov. 10, the A&M System Board of Regents met and approved its proposal for the fall 2023 tuition and fee structure. The new structure plans to decrease the average net tuition and fee costs for undergraduates by 0.6%.
“There is an urgent need to address our undergraduate tuition and fees structure, given our recent academic realignment efforts within the university,” President M. Katherine Banks said at the Nov. 10 Board of Regents meeting.

Set to be instituted next fall, the new tuition and fee structure will apply to all incoming freshmen and current variable rate undergraduates. Changes will apply to undergraduates at the College Station, Galveston and Health Science Center campuses.

The new structure addresses cost inequities in the current structure, in which costs are tied to a college-based system. Due to the academic realignment at the beginning of the fall semester, the costs for certain programs have not yet been adjusted.

However, the bill plans to fix the inequities by eradicating the college-based system at A&M. The new structure will divide all offered undergraduate majors into three new categories: base (non-STEM), science and math-intensive and applied specialized disciplines. Each discipline is priced at different rates, improving accuracy in costs for each program.

According to Banks, almost 25% of new undergraduates and variable rate students will see a decrease in their tuition and fees.
“Scholarships will be awarded if needed to ensure no student will pay higher net tuition and fees than they are currently,” Banks said.

While presenting the overview, Banks repeatedly said no student will pay higher net tuition and fees. The proposal states that new students in programs with increased rates will receive a scholarship to counteract the increase as long as they remain in their current major.

“I just want to congratulate Chairman [John] Sharp and President Banks. To pass a tuition bill that actually lowers costs to our students in the time that we are, says an enormous amount about our administration and the way you guys run your business,” board member Jay Graham said after the new tuition and fee structure was approved.

However, the Board of Regents anticipates losing revenue because of the new tuition and fee structure. According to Deputy Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Billy Hampton, there will be an estimated loss of $3,000,000 in revenue due to lower costs and an additional estimated $3,200,000 loss due to awarding scholarships.

Additionally, $4,500,000 will be set aside to help benefit low-income students for the Aggie Assurance program. For students with family annual incomes less than $60,000, students can receive up to $1,985 based on their financial need.

While actual costs may vary, the proposed variable rates for each discipline are as follows:

  •  Base (Non-STEM): $5,775 per semester

  •  Math & Science Lab-Based Disciplines: $6,095 per semester

  • Applied Specialized Disciplines: $6,671 per semester

For fixed-rate undergraduates, their costs are estimated to be 8% above the fall 2023 variable rate. It should also be noted that the current proposed rates are based on costs for A&M’s main campus.

The change in rates for majors on main campus are as follows:

  • Forty-one majors will have a 0.7%-11.4% decrease in tuition and fees, affecting about 24% of all students, with most being Agricultural, Architecture and Visualization majors.

  • Thirty-three majors will have no change in tuition and fees, affecting about 41% of all students in Business and Engineering programs.

  • Thirty-one majors will have a 1.4%-2.4% increase in tuition and fees, affecting about 28% of all students, with most being in the College of Arts & Sciences programs and Construction Science.

  • Three programs will have a 3.4%-3.7% increase in tuition and fees, affecting 7% of all students, with most being Geoscience-related programs.

  • Five programs will have a 4.8% increase in tuition and fees, affecting 0.7% of all students, with most being General Studies programs.

  • Neuroscience will have a 6.6% increase in tuition and fees, affecting 0.5% of all students.

“In order to get the programming changes in place as well as to appropriately share these changes with both current and prospective students, approval is needed as soon as possible,” Hamilton wrote for the agenda briefing for the Nov. 10 meeting. “With the freshmen deadline of Dec. 1, we have less than two months to ensure prospective students are properly informed of their tuition and fee rates based on our new structure before they complete the application process.”

While the new tuition and fee structure intends to help most undergraduates, the Texas A&M University System has not made any additional announcements to students regarding the new structure.
“Given the fact that most changes are to make the tuition and cost of attendance fair, I’m glad to know that A&M has been charging fairly for my major,” general engineering freshman Michael McMahon said. “I’m glad that they’re doing their part and taking on such a deficit, even if they have other means to cover [the loss of revenue].”

McMahon said  he appreciated that the structural changes would make the costs for students more accurate, but he was not aware such changes were being made.

“However, I think A&M could be doing more to tell students about these changes. I’ve heard nothing about them until now,” McMahon said.

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About the Contributor
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
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