Policy Analysis | April 2017
Fixed-Rate Tuition Pricing
Three Southern Legislatures — North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas — have enacted statewide, fixed-rate tuition pricing for in-state undergraduate students attending public universities. Under fixed-rate tuition policies, incoming freshmen and qualifying transfer students are guaranteed a constant tuition rate until they graduate, under specified conditions. Only one other state in the nation, Illinois, has a similar statewide policy.
North Carolina General Statutes
In-state freshmen or transfer undergraduate students who have been admitted to any constituent institution of The University of North Carolina receive fixed-rate tuition for eight semesters of a four-year bachelor’s degree and 10 semesters of a five-year bachelor’s degree. A student must maintain continuous enrollment at their university of choice during the entire tuition period to continue receiving the fixed-rate tuition. At the end of the fixed-rate tuition period, the cost of tuition for all remaining semesters is charged at the current tuition rate of the institution.
Effective 2016-2017 academic year
The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education must offer incoming in-state students a fixed-rate tuition plan for four years or more, depending on the length of a bachelor’s program, as determined by the institution. Students who choose to participate in the fixed-rate tuition plan must maintain continuous enrollment for the duration of their bachelor’s program.
Institutions must provide to students the annual tuition rate and the percentage increase of regular tuition for the previous four academic years, as well as the annual tuition rate and percentage increases that would need to occur during the following four years for the traditional tuition plan to surpass the costs of the fixed-rate tuition plan of their selected bachelor’s program. The costs of fixed-rate tuition plans cannot exceed 115 percent of the traditional tuition plans during the same academic year.
Effective 2008-2009 academic year
Texas Education Code
Undergraduate students, in addition to undergraduate transfer students, may receive fixed-rate tuition plans for the first 12 consecutive semesters after enrollment at public universities in the state. Fees charged by an institution to any student participating in the fixed-rate tuition plan cannot exceed the fees charged to students who are not participating. Universities can enact mandatory fixed-rate plans for all students or offer students the option of choosing between fixed-rate plans and traditional tuition plans.
Effective 2014-2015 academic year