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February 12, 2011 12:00 PM The $10,000 Lone Star Degree

By Daniel Luzer

TXFlag.jpg

Tuition at the University of Texas is now $9,438.00 a year. With room and board and other expenses, at year at a Texas state school could total something more like $27,168. That’s too much, according to Rick Perry, the state’s Republican governor.

According to an article by Erin Mulvaney and Kelley Shannon at the Dallas Morning News:

Gov. Rick Perry’s… challenge to the Legislature — to create a $10,000 bachelor’s degree — is not only unrealistic given the cost of college, higher education experts say, but likely budget cuts could mean a degree is further out of reach for thousands more Texans.
When he proposed the $10,000 degree in his State of the State address on Tuesday, Perry said universities could achieve savings through Web-based instruction, innovative teaching techniques and “aggressive efficiency measures.”

Perry’s proposal is $10,000, for four years, including the cost of textbooks, room, and board. That’s about $2,500 a year, total. For everything.

It’s an ambitious proposal and not one Texas will be likely to put into action. The state budget shortfall is projected to reach $27 billion this year.

While online courses and innovative teaching might make Texas university education cheaper (though crappier) it probably wouldn’t make it cheap enough.

State senator Judith Zaffirini pointed out that colleges would also need higher funding from the state to make the $2,500 bachelor’s degrees happen. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer