Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Texas State and other colleges counting economic blessings - for now

Excerpt from Austin American-Statesman.com 

By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz
Monday, December 07, 2009

SAN ANTONIO — Denise Trauth, president of Texas State University, tries not to gloat. But when she meets with counterparts from across the nation, as she did at the annual gathering of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities recently, she feels fortunate to be in Texas.

Many public colleges and universities across the nation are laying off employees, reducing student financial aid and taking other painful steps to cope with the economic downturn and declining state appropriations.
The University of North Alabama, for example, has raised tuition 9.5 percent in each of the past two years. California State University, Bakersfield, has scaled back academic programs and enrollment in response to a $15 million, or 25 percent, cut in the state portion of its budget. And Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed merging three public, historically black universities to cut costs.

Institutions of higher learning in Texas haven't been immune to the belt-tightening. Hiring for many positions throughout the 15-campus University of Texas System is frozen. UT-Austin is laying off some staff members to free up money to retain and recruit top professors. But schools in Texas, with its relatively strong economy, have largely been spared the harsh cuts taking place in many other states. Indeed, the Texas Legislature increased higher education funding this spring by $1.2 billion for the two-year budget and boosted financial aid by 35 percent, to $1 billion.

To read more of this article, please click here.

 The information was provided by Lauren Kahn, CEO of Lone Star Ed Consulting. If you would like more information about Lone Star Ed Consulting's college planning services, please e-mail Lauren Kahn or call her at 512-294-6608. You can also view LSEDC's brochure here.

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