AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Higher Education Board approved a plan Thursday, changing the way community colleges and universities get money. It could mean students have to meet performance guidelines or risk losing funding by 2012. Board members approved the plan in Austin. They say it will use tax payers money more efficiently while providing a better education for students.
Higher Education Commissioner, Raymond Paredes, says "We need to send the message to all institutions of higher education that we expect them to pay more attention to student success and we're going to fund them accordingly." Paredes says they came up with this proposal to address performance issues. He says Texas has a less than 30 percent completion rate for some colleges.
In Waco at McLennan Community College, nearly 10,000 students will be effected by this decision. President of MCC says, "We'll continue to look at those things and how it effects us. If we are not going to receive our entire 100 percent, then that's probably more tuition increases for students as well as more budget cuts that we would have to review."
If the proposal passes legislature in 2011, ten percent of the funding schools receive will be based on graduation rates, number of degrees, and degrees awarded to low-income families or at-risk students. Today, funding is based on enrollment only. If schools don't meet the new standards, Texas Higher Education Board says they won't get the money they usually do.