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Relating to fees charged to students enrolled at component institutions of The Texas A&M University System.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 3266 would increase the maximum fee for student medical services that could be levied against students who are enrolled in the Texas A&M University System from $75 to $200 for each regular semester and from $25 to $100 for each term of the summer session. This bill would also allow the funds that are collected to go towards the financing, construction, operation, renovation, maintenance, or other improvements to the Texas A&M medical facilities.
In addition, the cap on the student center facilities fee would be increased from $100 to $200 for each semester of the long session and from $50 to $100 for each term of the summer session or any fractional part of a session. This bill would prohibit the fee from being increased by 10 percent or more each semester, unless agreed to by the board of the university after giving students an opportunity for public comment.
Texas Action recommends opposing HB 3266 because it infringes upon principles of limited government. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board, from the years 2000 to 2010, state funding for higher education declined by 15.9 percent, while tuition fees increased by 75 percent (almost five times as fast). In the 2015 session, the legislature increased funding by nearly $300 million (approximately 9 percent) and authorized over $3 billion for campus buildings. Yet within months, most public universities approved tuition increases.
Rising tuition fees are a symptom of administrative bloat, including high-salary administrators and costly facilities. For these reasons, we generally oppose increases in student fees that contribute to the already incredibly high cost of higher education.