Texas: $10K degree cuts tuition, not costs

Did Texas Just Discover the Cure for Sky-High Tuition?  asks Lara Seligman in The Atlantic. Not really, she concludes.

Texas universities are offering bachelor’s degrees for $10,000, including tuition, fees and textbooks, pushed by Gov. Rick Perry. Average tuition alone in Texas at a public four-year institution is $8,354 a year, close to the national average.

In the Lone Star State, 10 institutions have so far responded to the governor’s call with unique approaches, ranging from a five-year general-degree pipeline that combines high school, community college, and four-year university credits to a program that relies on competency-based assessments to enable students to complete a degree in organizational leadership in as little as 18 months.

Angelo State University has created a four-year interdisciplinary-studies program for an overall cost of $9,974.

The University of Texas (Arlington) will offer a low-cost bachelor’s to students who’ve earning dual-enrollment credits in high school and spent a year at a local community college.

Texas A&M University (San Antonio), has designed a new $10,000 degree in information technology and security which should help graduates find military and security jobs in the region.

Universities aren’t becoming more efficient, however, Seligman warns.

. . . most of these programs would only reduce the price tag for the student, not the cost to the institution of providing the degree. While select students might pay less overall, institutions must deliver the same faculty, facilities, time, and knowledge they provide to students paying full price for their degrees.

If universities don’t find ways to improve productivity, they’ll have trouble subsidizing low-cost degrees.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON December 4, 2012

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