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More affordable tuition costs for some

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There's a new plan in the works to offer area college students more affordable tuition costs. WT says a four year fixed tuition plan could be a blessing for some and a headache for others.

Vice President for Business and Finance at WTAMU Gary Barnes says, "It's to encourage college students to get through their college career as quickly as they can. So they would hope that they could do that in four years. Now I think the second part is, is to provide information for the student and their parents on what the costs would be."

Texas House Bill 29 would require public universities like WT to offer incoming freshmen in undergraduate programs fixed tuition costs for four years. WT says it could limit students. Barnes says, "You couldn't take additional courses. It'd be very difficult if you changed your major to get through in four years. But it is really targeted for those students who have a direction." Students who sign up and not finish their career in the four year plan, would probably go back to paying a higher rate.

But the plan could benefit those who know what career path they want to take. Barnes says, "I think it's a win-win for the student who has a very clear direction. They know what they want to major in. It will be less expensive then if they just came in and paid whatever the tuition was for each one of those particular years." This option would be available for undergraduate students trying to get a bachelor's degree for the first time. Barnes says, "At this point we don't have any idea what that cost would be for the four year fixed tuition rate."

House Bill 29 is out of committee, but still needs to be voted on by the full House and Senate. WT Board of Regents says they will be meeting to discuss the impact of the bill.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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