Pigskin for a Paltry Price: Texas Launches Low-Cost College Degree

February 11, 2014

Education provides opportunity and a path from poverty to prosperity.  So while President Obama and his allies are talking about income inequality, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is doing something about it.

College doesn’t need to be so expensive.  In 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry challenged state universities to create a $10,000 degree program – not $10,000 a year but $10,000 for a four-year degree.  This past week, the Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board announced the launch of the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Program.  http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/19375/

Gov. Perry has long advocated for an affordable college degree and he is leading the way for other states to offer low-cost degree programs.

As we all  know, education provides opportunity and a path from poverty to prosperity.  So while President Obama and his allies are talking about income inequality, Gov. Perry is doing something about it.

Texas Public Policy’s Dr. Thomas Lindsay wrote in 2011: nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. Throw in room and board, and the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year.  This month, Dr. Lindsay said After decades of skyrocketing college tuitions and student-loan debt, it is heartening to see something being done about it…and in time, the Texas initiative could become the model for the other 49 states.

At the time the Governor first issued his challenge, many Texas university spokesmen didn’t take it well..  One university president took Perry on in his State of the University speech.   Tuition costs continued the  clash with University leaders and the Governor regarding tuition rate increases and governance.   Fortunately, Gov. Perry forged ahead, deflecting criticism of the lower-cost degree plan.

As higher education bureaucrats criticized the idea, AFP-Texas created some videos on college costs – here is an example.

Gov. Perry’s challenge was much-needed.  University tuitions had been on the rise and students were drowning in student loan debt.

CNN Money came out with a college student loan map with both the percentage of college graduates with  student loans debt in your state as well as the average student loan debt by state.  In Texas, 56% of the college graduates have student loan debt averaging $24,030.  The average debt nation-wide has grown in the last few years and the average is $29,500.

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