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Fixed Rate College Tuition In Effect This Fall

RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) - The University of Texas Board of Regents voted to not raise in-state tuition and decided on tuition rates for the Guaranteed Tuition Program, which freezes the rate students pay as freshmen for four years.

In 2013, the Texas Legislature mandated that public universities begin offering such plans.

A student participating in the guaranteed rate program would pay a fixed tuition rate for four years, regardless of whether traditional rates tuition increases occur during those four years.

The University of Texas Dallas was one of the first in the nation to offer fixed rate tuition as a part of a pilot program in 2007, when the recession was in its infancy.

"We wanted to give some sort of a little bit of predictability for families to know how much it would cost to receive an undergraduate degree," said Matt Sanchez, Director of New Student Enrollment at UTD.

The thought behind the move was that it would increase enrollment and give students an incentive to graduate in 4 years, and so far it has worked.

"It seems that since 2007, our enrollment has definitely gone up," Sanchez said.

At UTD, the fixed rate pays for 15 credit hours but students can take more classes for the same price.

Some universities are even offering up to $4,000 back if students graduate on time.

It's a 'win-win' for universities and students who are trying to avoid student loans.

"My plan is to go to med school afterward and I don't want to worry about undergrad loans before I get there," said Sumeet Sudhi, a UTD freshman.

The guaranteed fixed rate tuition program goes into effect at all state public universities in Fall 2014.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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