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Rep.Guillen, Ryan

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Rep. Ryan Guillen opposes allowing Universities to set tuition charges  print page

by: Rep. Guillen, Ryan
05/01/2003

AUSTIN -- "Efforts by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives this week to allow public universities to raise their tuition and fees without oversight or limits is a disservice to the people of this state and a threat to the children of poor and middle income families with dreams of one day attending one of our top state universities," said District 31 Representative Ryan Guillen.

"Promises from top state officials that Texas students who are in the top ten percent of their high school class will always be able to attend Texas A&M University or the University of Texas are hollow and meaningless if we allow the price of that education to rise to he point where ordinary families cannot afford it," said Guillen, a graduate of Texas A&M who had to work his way through much of his college career.

"It is clear from talking to my fellow representatives and from floor debate on this issue that the legislature has failed to meet the financial needs of the state's major universities for the past three legislative sessions," Guillen noted. Guillen represents Duval, Starr, Webb and Zapata counties.

"Now many of those same members are voting to avoid the issue once again by forcing the students and their families to pay for higher education costs because they do not want to accept the political liability of having to find funding to support higher education in Texas," he explained.

"I oppose this effort. In particular I oppose the idea of letting the universities set their own tuition charges for both in-state and out-of-state students. Out-of-state students pay higher tuition and fees than in-state students, and so they are more "profitable" for the universities than our own students," Guillen observed.

Guillen supported an amendment which would require any in-state tuition increase to be matched by increases in out-of-state tuition.

"We need to make sure that any increase in tuition for in-state students is matched by a proportional increase in the tuition for out-of-state students to make sure universities don't raise in-state rates to the point that demand for admission drops off and higher paying out-of-state students become a larger part of the student body. That would be an insult to the people of Texas," he emphasized.

Guillen said the effect of the bill which was passed in the Texas House of Representatives Tuesday would be to allow only the wealthiest Texas families to send their children to one of the state's major universities. "This is not the will of the people of Texas. It is not what Texas families want for their own children and grandchildren," Guillen said.

"Legislators who are pushing this bill should be ashamed of themselves for laying this burden on the backs of college students and their parents. The result will be that only the wealthy or full scholarship students can attend one of the state's major universities and poor and middle class students will be forced to go elsewhere," Guillen stated.

For more information contact:
Communications Director Robert McVey ( robert.mcvey@house.state.tx.us )

Robert M. McVey
Communications Director
for Rep. Ryan Guillen
512-463-0416

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