AUSTIN, Texas — Friday, Chairman Kel Seliger and I sent a letter to each public university president, requesting they send information on tuition and costs of attendance at each institution since 2002. In addition, we have requested an overview of their plans to reduce student debt and improve their graduation rates. Last year, the legislature provided substantial increases to higher education institutions for overall academic performance as well as for structural improvements. Yet in recent months, a number of our public higher education systems have moved to increase student tuition. Some have even implemented excessive bonus programs for highly paid administrators.

This action comes at a time when Texas student debt is rising between eight and nine percent annually, and the cost of tuition is rising exponentially. This is why I tasked the Senate Higher Education Committee to study tuition rates and student debt during this interim.

As I stated in October of last year, higher education institutions must identify ways to make college education more affordable for students and families across Texas rather than identifying how much they can increase tuition for students.