Lamar State College Port Arthur president outlines benefits of tuition drop

Published 12:29 am Thursday, July 22, 2021

Dr. Betty Reynard said, in some cases, it will be the difference between a student going to college or not.

The Lamar State College Port Arthur president was talking about news this week shared statewide that college tuition is being reduced locally and at Lamar State College Orange and Lamar Institute of Technology.

“For many, the reduced financial burden will allow students to register for more classes, which will reduce their time to graduate,” she said.

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Tuition and fees at each institution will drop to $118 per semester credit hour.

In addition, as part of the Seahawk Book Bundle program, there is a $10 per semester credit hour discount on the cost of textbooks at Lamar State College Port Arthur.

Combined with the first round of tuition cuts approved two years ago, total tuition and fees at the Lamar State Colleges have been reduced by an average of 47 percent and are on par with community colleges throughout the state.

The reduced tuition, approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents this summer, remains in effect for at least three years.

Additionally, Lamar State College Port Arthur is promoting a “Buy One, Get One” campaign where students receive free semester credit hours when they purchase hours, up to six total.

This means a student taking a 15-hour full load will get six hours free, leaving nine hours at $118 per hour. For those eligible, financial aid that includes grants and scholarships, is also available to make college even more attainable.

Many education leaders, including Reynard, credited state Rep. Dade Phelan, Texas Speaker of the House, for leading the effort to increase state funding for Lamar State Colleges.

“The Lamar State Colleges have long been underfunded compared to their peer institutions in the state, creating an unnecessary cost barrier for students seeking a two-year degree,” Phelan said.

“I’m pleased that we were able to close this gap and make college more affordable for students in Southeast Texas.”

State funding for the Lamar State Colleges increased by $47 million since 2019, resulting in a 17 percent increase in headcount enrollment, a 55 percent increase in dual credit enrollment and a 124 percent increase in online credit hours, school officials said.