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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 11:50pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Many parents dream of their kids going to college but dread making the payments, and now, those payments could soon get more expensive.
The University of Texas at El Paso isn't getting the kind of funding it once was from the state of Texas.
In the last two years, Texas cut $27 million from UTEP's budget.
At a meeting on Wednesday, the university said it wants to raise student tuition and fees by 3% for the 2014-2015 school year - that means full-time students would have to pay anywhere from $96 to $108 more each semester.
"I really don't worry about it too much because I am under a veteran's program but it does concern me with some of my friends that are coming here that are already struggling working at least a full-time job and still trying to be a full-time student," said Adam Rodriguez.
University officials argue the proposed hike is significantly less than what some other universities in Texas are planning.
And even with the increase, UTEP says it charges its students the lowest tuition of all research universities in the country.
"Our academic quality is really outstanding and our value is great because of the low cost of tuition," said Gary Edens, the Vice President of Student Affairs at UTEP.
"Three percent is still a lot, especially in the kind of economy that we have that there's no money being pumped into the city," said Jose Valadez.
UTEP also wants to charge new students a $100 dollar "entering" fee every semester until they graduate, which used to just be a one-time fee.
And for students who are done with their degrees but stay and take 30 credit hours or more, UTEP will charge those students out-of-state tuition to push them to graduate and start working in their field.
UTEP hopes the increases will bring in an extra $3.6 million. The university wants to use most, if not all that money to retain and recruit faculty in order to remain competitive.
UTEP will submit its proposal to the UT Board of Regents on April 23rd, and the Regents will make a decision on the tuition and fee increase sometime in June or July 2014.