It appears that the out-of-state tuition at the University of Texas School of Law could be on the rise. The school’s website lists that the proposed non-resident tuition for the 2009 – 2010 academic year is $43,858. That is over a 10% increase from last year.
Is UT riding the wave of this year’s strong showing in the U.S. News law school rankings? Perhaps. But don’t blame the UT administration for the hike. UT is a public institution. As such, if you remember your middle school civics class, the school has very little control over its own tuition. A UT-Law spokesperson explains the situation:
Last year (March, 2008), the Regents set tuition at the University of Texas for the 2008-2009 academic year (this year) and the 2009-2010 academic year (next year). This year’s tuition for new, non-resident students was $39,642. The amount the Regents approved last year for tuition next year for new, non-resident students, $43,858, is a 10.6% increase over this year. The amount listed on our website for 2009-2010 is correct.
The Texas legislature is currently considering a number of tuition bills, some of which could affect the tuition charged next year, but we don’t have any idea how these deliberations will come out as of now.
After the jump, let’s take a deeper look at how Texas plans to make money off of law students.
The UT spokesperson also explained some of the details about the budgeting process in Texas. Tuition decisions at the school are made by the University of Texas System Board of Regents. It is a nine member panel that is appointed by the State’s governor, Rick Perry, and confirmed by the Texas State Senate.
We weren’t able to reach a member of the regents panel to discuss the proposed hike. But it is a little surprising to see Texas officials charging out of state residents a tuition comparable to HLS.
On the other hand, state budgets are tight all over. With all the deserved respect that UT-Law is getting, why shouldn’t the legislature use the law school to cover less lucrative departments and operations. You could call it a redistributive policy from a red state.
And since they don’t talk about layoffs in Texas, everybody should be able to pay off their debts in short order, right?