Amarillo, TX - Despite West Texas A&M's increasing enrollment, it may cost some students some extra money.
With nearly 9,500 students, enrollment at WT is now the highest it's ever been. However, the high enrollment comes at a time when state funding is down.
More students on campus mean WT needs more resources, which is why the university is proposing a tuition and fee increase.
"We've got to increase faculty resources, student support resources and scholarships so that we can handle the increase in enrollment that we have," said WT President Joseph Patrick O'Brien.
The university is proposing a two percent tuition increase for incoming freshman, transfer students and graduate students. They would pay about $76 more a semester. All other students are grandfathered in to the current rates.
The tuition hike aims to generate about $350,000 in revenue.
"$350,000 gets you at least four new faculty members," said O'Brien.
WT's goal is to have a student to faculty ratio of 19 to 1, but right now they're at 25 to 1.
"We don't want to be too large that students can't approach faculty," said O'Brien. "We tell students when we go out to recruit that when you come to WT, I guarantee you that you are going to have accessibility to your faculty members, you're going to have accessibility to tutors, to advisors so that you can be most successful."
There are two more public hearings about the tuition increase on Friday. The hearings will be at noon and 5 p.m. at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center in the Thunder Room.
The Board of Regents will then vote on the tuition increase in November.