State Rep. Schaefer files bill to freeze tuition at state schools

WATCH: State Rep. Schaefer files bill to freeze tuition at Texas colleges

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - State Rep. Matt Schaefer has filed a house bill which would call on public universities in Texas to freeze tuition through 2023.

HB 1408 calls for a temporary limitation on tuition and fees in all public schools and universities. Schaefer said that the pandemic led to his desire to write the bill.

“We have to take a hard look at why costs continue to go up, so this would be a great time to do that,” he said. “No university or college should be raising their tuition and fees in the middle of a pandemic and record unemployment.”

Schaefer noted that the cost of tuition in colleges and universities has climbed at a much higher rate than other expenses; he used eye surgery cost as one example, saying it has had a more level growth over the years, while tuition cost has shot straight up.

“We need to look at not only the kind of resources we provide from the state to our universities, but we need to be looking at how we can control costs so that costs for students and families do not continue to go up and up and up,” he said.

Schaefer believes that public universities and colleges don’t have any incentive to keep prices down for students.

“If students have a seemingly unlimited amount of debt that they can get, through student loans backed by the federal government, what incentive do they have to really take a hard look at costs?”

Schaefer noted that tuition increase is most difficult for middle income families. Those students don’t qualify for as much financial aid as someone with low income, and they cannot write a check big enough to cover costs like a wealthy family could.

He also said that most students incur large amounts of debt getting a degree which will not secure a job that pays well enough to pay off exorbitant student loan debt.

To read the bill in full, click here.

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