HBA-CBW H.B. 3524 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3524 By: Hochberg Higher Education 4/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, students who attend institutions of higher education (institution) are charged tuition and fees based on the number of semester credit hours taken. The differing rate charges for students who take more than twelve semester credit hours could cause confusion among students and parents. A simplified and more uniform tuition rate may create more of an incentive for students to take heavier course loads and move more quickly towards graduation, while addressing the differing tuition rate fee structures in various degree programs within the institution. House Bill 3524 authorizes the board of regents of The University of Texas System to establish a flat rate tuition pilot program to be conducted at The University of Texas at Austin within a specified period that applies to not more than ten percent of all full-time residential and non-residential undergraduate students. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 3524 authorizes the board of regents of The University of Texas System (board) to establish a flat rate tuition pilot program that will apply to not more than ten percent of the total full-time student equivalents enrolled in undergraduate degree programs at The University of Texas at Austin (university). The bill authorizes the board to establish flat rate tuition to be charged to all non-resident and resident undergraduate students who are enrolled in colleges or schools at the university that are specified by the board. The bill prohibits the flat rate tuition from requiring a full-time student to pay more than an amount equal to the average amount of tuition, designated tuition, and mandatory fees that a student would otherwise have paid for enrolling in the university for twelve semester credit hours under existing laws that apply to a student on the date of enrollment. The bill requires the board to evaluate the effect of flat rate tuition on the number of semester credit hours taken by students in the program each semester and requires the board to report the results of the evaluation to the legislature on or before December 31, 2002. The provisions of the bill expire September 1, 2003. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.