AUSTIN (AP) _ College tuition is going up in Texas. Again.
The UT System Board of Regents on Wednesday approved increases for the two-year period starting next fall at the system's nine academic campuses, ranging from less than 5 percent a year at UT Austin and others to more than 13 percent a year at UT Brownsville.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents was poised to adopt similar tuition increases on Thursday and the Texas Tech University System was set to put a limit on tuition increases later this week.
Across the state, tuitions have gone up more than 40 percent since lawmakers voted in 2003 to let colleges set their own tuitions.
"Plain and simple, tuition deregulation … is the cause of skyrocketing tuition in Texas," said Democratic Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston, estimating that a four-year college education could cost as much as $100,000 for one student. "In the next session of the Legislature, we must put an end to the increases in tuition and roll back the cost of higher education."
Several student government leaders who helped set the higher proposals at the UT system's nine academic campuses said they would willingly pay more.
"No one wants to pay a higher tuition, myself included," said Collins Watson, president of the UT Arlington Student Congress. "But we also care about the quality of our education.
"We want to be the best public school in the nation … we as students are prepared to shoulder the burden to ensure the integrity of our education."
Presidents of campuses in the UT system testified before the board that they needed the revenue to give competitive salaries to their faculty.
The board last year capped annual tuition increases at 4.95 percent or $150, whichever is greater. Six campuses were allowed to exceed the limit by exempting student-approved fees.
The costliest semester within the system will be at UT Dallas, where tuition and fees will total almost $5,000 after increases of 4.95 percent each year, including new student-approved fees.
The most inexpensive semester will be $2,761 at UT Pan American with increases of 6.09 percent this year and 5.74 percent in 2009.
At the system's flagship campus, UT Austin, tuition and fees will total $4,266 this fall and $4,477 in 2009 after a 4.95 percent increase each year.
The estimates are averages and the costs vary according to major.
Within the Texas A&M University system, proposed increases range from $7.25 per hour at Texas A&M University to $16 per hour at Texas A&M-Texarkana.
A semester at Texas A&M in College Station would average an estimated $4,090 after the proposed 5 percent increase for the 2008 fall semester. Increases within the system range from 3.9 percent to almost 14 percent.
The numbers do not reflect fees approved by students.
Earlier this month in El Paso, Texas Tech regents held off capping annual tuition increases at 4.4 percent at Texas Tech and Angelo State University.
The regents meet Saturday in Lubbock and are expected to set an upper limit on a potential tuition increase that would come up for a vote in May.
Regents there boosted tuition and fees by 4.79 percent last year, saying the increase was needed to pay for faculty raises.
Associated Press writer Betsy Blaney in Lubbock contributed to this report.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.