LSCPA tuition, fees to be cut by 29 percent

    LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard, right, speaks the crowd gathered at a press conference on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 announcing a tuition and fees cut for the college. She is joined by Lamar Institute of Technology President Dr. Lonnie Howard, left, and Lamar State College-Orange President Dr. Thomas Johnson.
    LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard, right, speaks the crowd gathered at a press conference on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 announcing a tuition and fees cut for the college. She is joined by Lamar Institute of Technology President Dr. Lonnie Howard, left, and Lamar State College-Orange President Dr. Thomas Johnson.


    Students at Lamar State College Port Arthur will pay substantially lower tuition and fees starting this fall. Officials from the Texas State University System announced the tuition cut during a news conference on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum in Beaumont.

    Last week, the TSUS Board of Regents voted unanimously to reduce tuition and fees at the Lamar State Colleges by an average of 25 percent. The cost of attending LSCPA will drop by 29 percent from $3,051.45 to $2,165.55 for a student taking 15 hours. The tuition and fees cuts will also affect Lamar Institute of Technology and Lamar State College-Orange. Starting this fall, full-time students will pay standard tuition and fees of $1,995 at all three colleges – roughly the same price as in 2009. The board also reduced the fee for dual credit courses from $75-$110 per semester credit hour to $50 per semester credit hour at all three colleges.

    “The Lamar State Colleges are consistently ranked among the best colleges in the nation for graduate earnings and job placement rates,” said Board of Regents Chairman William F. Scott. “This tuition cut will make these state colleges even more attractive to students who would like to advance their careers and increase their earnings. Our hope is that students who have been on the fence about continuing their education will strongly consider enrolling this fall.”

    Although their mission is similar to the state’s community colleges, the Lamar State Colleges receive no local tax revenue, resulting in an overdependence on tuition and fees. Last year, tuition and fees at the Lamar State Colleges were about $1,800 higher, on average, than Texas community colleges. Now, the cost difference is roughly half that amount.

    “Two years ago, the people of Port Arthur had their sense of security stolen from them by Hurricane Harvey. Since then, it has been a slow, tedious struggle for them to regain a foothold on their future,” LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard said. “The reduction of tuition and fees for students is counter to the national trend of rising tuition and will give Port Arthur residents and the students of Lamar State College Port Arthur new hope in achieving their dream of graduating from college. The tuition and fees reductions for those students will impact them directly … and in a truly meaningful way.”

    The recently approved state budget provides an additional $17.3 million to narrow the funding gap between the Lamar State Colleges and community colleges. The Board of Regents dedicated 95 percent of this new money, $16.5 million, to reduce tuition and fees. The state colleges will use the remaining five percent to enhance student support services.

    “Being a second-year college student whose parents make ‘too much’ money to qualify for financial aid and who works two jobs while going to school, I sometimes find paying tuition and fees to be stressful and daunting,” LSCPA Student Government Association President Brianna Montijo said. “I am extremely grateful for the decision by the TSUS Board of Regents to lower tuition for Lamar State College Port Arthur to give even more people the opportunity to pursue a higher level of education. This decision helps those currently in school to be able to afford the cost of college. It also will encourage others to enroll, allowing them the chance to benefit from an associate’s degree that gives them a chance to continue on to a four-year school or into the career field of their choice.”

    State Representative Dade Phelan, who led the effort to increase funding for the two-year colleges, said, “The Lamar State Colleges have a long and successful history of preparing Southeast Texas residents for jobs in our local economy. This tuition cut will save the average student hundreds of dollars each semester, making it easier to earn a two-year degree and improve their quality of life. I applaud the Texas State University System Regents and Chancellor Brian McCall for their leadership and dedication to this area of the state.”

    Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College Orange, and Lamar State College Port Arthur are the only public, two-year colleges serving the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Texas.
     
    “The Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott deserve enormous praise for creating a more level playing field for college students in Southeast Texas,” said TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall. “Cost should not be a barrier to a college degree if we have the means to address it. This additional funding shows a strong commitment by our state leaders to the students of Southeast Texas.”