Lamar State Colleges Further Reduce Tuition This Fall (7/20/21)
(AUSTIN) -- Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College Orange, and Lamar State College Port Arthur, known collectively as the Lamar State Colleges, will further reduce tuition this fall thanks to an additional $17 million in funding in the recently approved state budget. This new funding allows the three public, two-year institutions serving Southeast Texas to reduce tuition and mandatory fees to $1,770 per semester (based on 15 semester credit hours).
Combined with the first round of tuition cuts approved two years ago, total tuition and fees at the Lamar State Colleges have been reduced by an average of 47 percent, now on par with community colleges throughout the state. The reduced tuition, approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents last month, will remain in effect for at least three years.
“This is a seismic moment for higher education in Southeast Texas,” said TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall. “As chancellor of a university system that serves a large number of low-income, at-risk and first-generation students, I can’t overstate the significance of this investment in our students.”
Dade Phelan, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, led the effort to increase state funding for the Lamar State Colleges, which--unlike Texas community colleges--receive no local tax revenue. In the past, the state colleges made up the difference by charging higher tuition and fees.
“The Lamar State Colleges have long been underfunded compared to their peer institutions in the state, creating an unnecessary cost barrier for students seeking a two-year degree,” said Speaker Phelan. I’m pleased that we were able to close this gap and make college more affordable for students in Southeast Texas.”
In addition to reducing tuition and fees, the Lamar State Colleges are providing a $10 per credit hour instructional materials scholarship to help students reduce the cost of textbooks and other learning materials. Combined with the tuition cut, these benefits will allow many students to register for more classes, complete their degree and certificate programs faster, and enter the workforce ahead of schedule.
Dr. Tom Johnson, president of Lamar State College Orange, stated, “With this significant decrease in tuition, we will be able to reach more students and change the trajectory of their lives and their families’ lives.”
Thanks to the efforts of Speaker Dade Phelan and previous Speaker Dennis Bonnen, state funding for the Lamar State Colleges has increased by $47 million since 2019, resulting in a 17% increase in headcount enrollment, a 55% increase in dual credit enrollment, and a 124% increase in online credit hours.