RICHARDSON, Texas (April 3, 2006) — The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has taken steps to lessen the impact of higher tuition and fees on its part-time students – many of whom must work in order to attend school – by offering increased need-based financial aid to those enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours for the coming fall and spring semesters.
“At a time of rising tuition costs, we are concerned about our part-time students, who are subject to tuition rate increases that, on a percentage basis, are higher than those experienced by their fellow students who are enrolled full-time,” said UTD President Dr. David E. Daniel. “Some of them are among our most vulnerable students economically and we feel an obligation to shield them from the full impact of recent hikes in tuition and fees. We believe that this new financial aid initiative, targeted specifically at part-time students, will do just that.”
According to Daniel, UTD will increase need-based aid available in the 2006-07 academic year to current part-time students by 20 percent – from $1,500 to $1,800. Similar grants for current full-time students (those taking 12 or more semester credit hours) will grow by 10 percent to $2,200. Grants available to new students joining UTD in the fall will remain at current levels – $2,000 for full-time students and $1,500 for part-time students.
In addition, up to $100,000 of additional need-based financial aid has been allocated by Daniel for students taking as few as three credit hours per semester in 2006-07, with highest priority given to students who will complete their degree requirement during the coming school year. Under current policy, students taking fewer than six credit hours are not eligible for such aid.
“While the significant increases in tuition and fee costs for 2006-07 are necessary to preserve university operations, it is also imperative that everything possible be done to mitigate their impacts on UTD students least able to pay for these increases,” said UTD Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal. “Hence, the university has formulated new policies for allocations of UTD-provided financial aid in concert with tuition and fee policies that recognize the differential impacts upon part-time and full-time students and the different obligations the university has to students already pursuing an education here versus those to new students.”
Wildenthal said that the total amount of federal and state need-based financial aid available to UTD students is approximately $8.5 million. In addition, he estimated that the amount of need-based aid provided from UTD resources that would be generated with the higher tuition and fee charges will be approximately $3.75 million for resident undergraduate students and $1.4 million for resident graduate students. A total of more than $13.6 million in need-based aid will thus be available to UTD students in the coming year, Wildenthal said.
The total amount of UTD-funded financial aid for 2006-07 represents a 15 percent increase over 2005-06 and should be sufficient to fund all eligible students who apply before mid-summer.
Wildenthal called the higher tuition and fees, approved by The University of Texas System Board of Regents on March 28, “critically important for generating the additional financial resources required to prevent further erosion in UTD’s inflation-adjusted per capita student funding.”
He said the increases address two goals – to meet U.T. System mandates to improve graduation rates, and to achieve a better balance between charges for students enrolled in varying numbers of credit hours and the university expenses involved in serving those students’ educational needs.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls nearly 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.