Texas Tech: Time to revisit free tuition threshold established in 2007
The University of Texas will set aside more than $160M to provide tuition for more than a fifth of its undergrads, in 2020. Texas Tech has had a similar program for more than a decade.
Red Raider Guarantee started in 2007. It covers tuition and fees for students from low socioeconomic status. Specifically, a household with an adjusted gross income of $40K or less.
"$40,000 dollars is that a good threshold, should it be more? It should," Ethan Logan, the Associate VP for enrollment management, said. "I mean ultimately we want to try to provide a better cost to students. But right now we've based that on commitments we've put together and make sure that we guarantee the Red Raider guarantee."
It's funded by tuition revenue and endowments. About 1,500 undergrads enrolled in 2019 received money from the program. That's about one in 20 students.
"We set our threshold at a number that we know we could guarantee," Logan explained. "As we cultivate and develop our resources, we can expand ours also."
UT's $60M endowment comes from the state's Permanent University Fund. That's driven by oil and gas revenue, which generates money only for Texas and A&M.
"Texas Tech can meet that in our own independent development in what we can do and the cultivation of funds that we have for scholarship. That's a large sum of money and would take some time and commitment for us to meet, to match. Specifically for that," Logan said.
Texas Tech's targets for aid is much lower than the average. The median household income in Texas is just less than $60K.
"I think it's a wonderful commitment what Texas is making and this is something that is the echelon of what is the next generation of college commitments for low socioeconomic status," Logan added. "Texas Tech's leadership in this idea of the assurance for tuition and fee commitment we made that early on."
The University of Texas' new aid is expected to help nearly 9,000 students when it starts in 2020.