HB 671

84(R) - 2015
House Higher Education
House Higher Education
Higher Education

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Travis Clardy

Bill Caption

Relating to an intercollegiate athletics fee at Stephen F. Austin State University; authorizing imposition of a fee.

Fiscal Notes

There is no significant fiscal implication to State or local government.  The institution estimates that at current enrollment levels and based on a fee of $10 per semester credit hour, the fee would generate additional revenue in the amount of approximately $3.2 million per fiscal year.

Bill Analysis

05/18/2015 We still oppose HB 671 in the second chamber. The Senate sponsor is Senator Nichols.

HB 671 would amend the Education Code to authorize an intercollegiate athletics fee at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) limited to $10 per semester credit hour for each semester or summer session. The fee would be able to be increased by a majority vote of students in a general election at the school. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill abridges the principle of limited government by authorizing an additional fee at a state university. For this reason, we oppose HB 671.

The cost of higher education is already too high and the growing student debt problem is only worsening. In 2013 the average student debt for SFA graduates was $26,531.

For freshman students entering SFA next semester who take 12 credit hours per semester for 8 semesters and finance the cost of fees and tuition, this fee would add $960 to the principal balance of their student loans. Adding the cost of interest over the lifetime of the loan (assuming a 20 year loan at the current interest rate of 4.66% for federal student loans) they would pay an additional $518 in interest. In total, this fee would cost such a student an extra $1478. Of course, the more credit hours a student takes the more the total of principal and interest increases.

The state should be looking for ways to cut the cost of higher education, not adding to it with yet another fee that increases the debt burden for college students. 

This insightful chart from the source linked above offers further details about the student debt picture for graduates of Stephen F. Austin State University.

The second chamber sponsor of this legislation is Senator Nichols.