Higher education, lower expense: Tuition equalization grants
We at Southern Methodist University applaud the education funding focus dominating the current session of the Texas Legislature. It is important that lawmakers address teacher compensation and other K-12 issues — and we trust this focus will carry over into higher education and include support for the 27,000 Texas resident students who benefit from the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Program.
SMU is one of 42 non-profit, regionally accredited institutions affiliated with ICUT — the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas. Ever since the program’s 1971 start, TEG grants have been a critical funding component for our disadvantaged students. While the roughly $3,500 average individual grants help pay college expenses, they indirectly save the state of Texas money. The average appropriation for a student at a state school is approximately twice that, at nearly $7,000 — and that doesn’t even take into account how many taxpayer dollars would be necessary to build and staff additional state institutions to serve those nearly 27,000 (1,259 of them attend SMU) private school students if they were to lose their grants and transfer to public institutions.