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    Tuition cut boosts enrollment at Lamar State Colleges

    Lamar State College Port Arthur is among three area colleges reporting a dramatic year-to-year enrollment increase, spurred by a tuition cut that took effect last fall. LSCPA's tuition fell 29 percent as a result of that cut.
    Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College Orange, and Lamar State College Port Arthur—known collectively as the Lamar State Colleges—enjoyed a 25 percent tuition cut across all three campuses.
    Across the three institutions, headcount enrollment increased 11 percent, from 7,369 students in Spring 2019 to 8,153 this spring. Over the same period, student contact hours grew from 1.47 million to 1.62 million, an increase of 10 percent.

    LSCPA has seen continued growth in its student body over the past several years. The college reported an enrollment of 1,755 students in Spring 2016. The Spring 2020 enrollment figures as of February 12 were at 2,460, an increase of more than 40 percent. The Spring 2020 enrollment is the highest in the history of the college.

    “The tuition cut has encouraged students to enroll earlier than planned, take extra classes, and work fewer hours,” said Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System. “The enrollment growth we’ve seen across the region validates the legislature’s decision to invest in our institutions and students.”
    Last year, the Texas Legislature approved $17.3 million in new funding to narrow the tuition gap between the Lamar State Colleges and Texas community colleges. The three state colleges—unlike community colleges—do not receive local tax revenue and, as a result, have charged comparatively higher tuition to make up the difference.
    “The Lamar State Colleges are just beginning to see the impact of these tuition cuts,” said Chancellor McCall. “We fully expect additional growth next fall as more people across Southeast Texas learn about the great value that our institutions provide.”
    The Texas State University System is Texas’ first university system, consisting of seven institutions serving more than 86,000 students.

    "With the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda on the residents of Port Arthur and its surrounding communities, the tuition drop could not have come at a better time," said Dr. Betty Reynard, President of LSCPA. "This additional funding has allowed more of our residents to pursue an education without having to sacrifice the necessities of life to do so. It has been a godsend for our region."