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Tuition increase will help University of North Texas raise $6.3 million

03/21/2011 11:02 PM

03/22/2011 11:09 AM

DALLAS -- University of North Texas students will pay higher tuition next fall -- an increase that is expected to help the university raise $6.3 million.

The university's board of regents voted 5-4 Monday in favor of a tuition increase proposed by UNT President V. Lane Rawlins, to help the Denton-based school meet growing needs as the state tightens its budget.

"These are tough times," Rawlins told students this month during a presentation to the Student Government Association.

The change would raise an already planned 2.9 percent tuition and fee increase by 2.8 percent. The cumulative increase would be about $325 per student for 15 semester hours, raising the total for an undergraduate student to an estimated $4,391.23.

The increase was approved during a Monday teleconference meeting based in Dallas. The board also voted to add $450,000 to the football stadium construction budget. The additional dollars will pay for two more entry points into the parking lots.

Rawlins has told students that UNT's needs won't diminish as the state chips away at funding. For example, enrollment has increased 34 percent since 2000 while the faculty has grown by about 26 percent. The university has maintained its student-faculty ratio with lecturers, Rawlins said.

UNT officials are bracing for a possible reduction of between $4 million and $10 million in state funding. Rawlins said the tuition increase would generate $6.3 million that he promised to use for financial aid, faculty and lecturers, classroom and building needs, and maintenance and operations.

Separately, UNT has offered voluntary separation packages to about 350 faculty and other employees. Officials said the plan is not directly tied to the budget.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675

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