Texas innovates on price, not college costs

The $10,000 bachelor’s degree will be a reality starting next year at University of Texas of the Permian Basin. UTPB “science scholars” will be able to earn a degree in chemistry, computer science, geology, information systems or mathematics for $2,500 a year, compared to the regular cost of $6,452 a year.

“Science scholars” must be Texas residents enrolled full-time who do not need any remedial coursework.

UTPB already has a new science building that’s not fully used and enough faculty to serve additional students, so the marginal cost of adding the “scholars” will be low.

Gov. Rick Perry challenged state universities to offer a $10,000 bachelor’s degree in 2011. He hoped for “Web-based instruction, innovative teaching techniques and aggressive efficiency measures” to drive down costs, notes Inside Higher Ed. “But so far the proposals simply tinker with the way universities price the degree, not the costs.

Most low-cost bachelor’s degrees rely on partnerships with community colleges — or even high schools.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio set up a degree program in cooperation with Alamo Colleges in which students can receive a bachelor of applied arts and science for $10,000. Through the program, qualified high school juniors can enroll in a dual credit program, through which they can receive up to 60 hours of college credit – half a bachelor’s degree – for free while still in high school. Those students can then enroll in Alamo College for 27 credit hours for $1,782 and finish their degree with 36 credit hours at Texas A&M-San Antonio for $7,722.

. . . Students must be ready for college-level work as juniors in high school and must be interested in pursuing a degree with a focus in information technology.

Texas A&M University-Commerce will offer a $10,000 bachelor’s degree — if students earn 60 credits at a community college before transferring.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON May 10, 2012

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