Recent attempts by Texas university systems to meet Gov. Rick Perry’s 2011 challenge to develop undergraduate degree programs for under $10,000 appear to play a shell game by requiring extensive coursework prior to college enrollment in order to meet the $10,000 goal.
Texas Tech has a plan in the works to require multiple semesters of community college coursework before finishing at Tech, but would not require students to have completed college-level coursework in high school.
The University of Texas Permian Basin on Wednesday announced a $10,000 degree plan slated to begin in the fall 2012.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio also announced a sub-$10,000 program earlier this year.
Tech plans to soon unveil a program using online coursework to earn a human resources degree, said Guy Bailey, Tech president.
“We think it will be very reasonably priced and will compete with those programs,” Bailey said.
The Tech program would have students transfer with 80 hours from a community college before completing 40 hours worth of upper-level courses at Tech, Bailey said.
The University of Texas Permian Basin Texas Science Scholar undergraduate degree plan will offer majors in chemistry, computer science, geology, information systems and mathematics, according to a statement from the University of Texas System.
But like the Texas A&M University System program announced earlier this year, the Texas Science Scholar program requires advanced math placement before cracking that first book on campus.
The push to develop a $10,000 undergraduate degree plan comes in response to a challenge from Perry to establish a program allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree for under $10,000.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio has partnered with Alamo Colleges to offer a degree for $9,672.
As reported by the Texas Tribune, the coursework for the A&M “Affordable Degree” begins in high school with dual-credit courses and requires obtaining an associate degree from Alamo Colleges before finishing at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
An incoming freshman in the UT Permian Basin program must be able to place into a higher-level math class by his or her first semester, through either a combination of class rank and ACT scores, Advanced Placement or other standardized tests or the UT Permian Basement math placement test.
And dual-credit courses aren’t free.
Three credit hours at South Plains College for dual-credit Lubbock Independent School District students costs $177, according to the Lubbock High School website.
It cost students roughly $600 for 12 credit hours during the spring 2012 semester.
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