The state budget bill that has been introduced this legislative session calls for reducing TEG funding by 41%. TEG funding includes grants to low and middle income students who attend private colleges and universities. Cuts of that magnitude would have a devastating effect on thousands of Texas students (and the institutions they attend). See below that this would cost TExas Lutheran University $1.9 million.
Yesterday a group of current TLU TEG recipients went to the Capitol to visit personally with their legislators and staff members about the importance of the program to them and the education they are pursuing at TLU. If you’d like to contact your state legislator, a sample letter is below. Contact information: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ Simply type in your zip code in the box on the homepage.
THE TEG PROGRAM
1971 the Texas legislature created the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Program to:
• reduce taxpayer costs for higher education by providing limited financial assistance to needy low- and middle-income Texas students attending Texas independent institutions of higher education;
• help bridge the tuition gap between lower priced state universities and independent institutions;
• assist students whose financial circumstances limit their college choices;
• encourage independent institutions to expand and continue sharing the task of educating a rapidly growing student population; and
• strengthen independent institutions by helping them maintain ethnically and economically diverse student bodies.
Who Receives TEG?
Family Financial Background
• Students who receive Pell grants are the neediest students enrolled in higher education. In fiscal year 2009, 49% of TEG students were Pell grant recipients. Their average parental income was $17,779.
• The average income TEG recipients who do not receive Pell grants is about $49,600; students with “higher” incomes may qualify for TEG because their families are exceptionally large or because of recent financial reverses caused by death, disability, or unemployment.
• The overall average parental income of TEG recipients is less than $29,000.
Who Can Receive a TEG?
To be eligible for a TEG, a student must:
• be a qualified Texas resident, meeting the conditions for paying public Texas resident tuition;
• establish financial need as required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;
• not receive any form of athletic scholarship while receiving TEG;
• be enrolled, at least, three/quarter time at an approved Texas independent institution; and
• earn 24 Semester Credit Hours (SCH) per year while maintaining a 2.5 GPA.
Institutions Participating in the TEG Program and TEG Allocations for Fiscal Year 2011
Abilene Christian University $3,539,406
Austin College 1,728,343
Baylor University 12,328,026
College of St. Thomas More 17,129
Concordia University Texas2,250,196
Dallas Baptist University3,865,976
East Texas Baptist University1,579,968
Houston Baptist University2,485,949
Howard Payne University1,350,442
Huston-Tillotson University 778,279
Jacksonville College 311,548
Jarvis Christian College 969,434
LeTourneau University 2,435,015
Lon Morris College 1,334,538
Lubbock Christian University 1,971,517
McMurry University 2,166,789
Our Lady of the Lake University2,671,949
Parker College of Chiropractic 943,041
Paul Quinn College 141,311
Rice University 2,604,197
St. Edward’s University 4,828,433
St. Mary’s University 5,528,909 Schreiner University 1,418,651
South Texas College of Law 1,879,860
Southern Methodist University6,324,641
Southwestern Adventist University 715,432
Southwestern Assemblies of God University 1,331,539
Southwestern Christian College 141,637
Southwestern University 1,523,108
Texas Chiropractic College 378,971
Texas Christian University 5,638,508
Texas College 1,161,139
Texas Lutheran University 1,965,201
Texas Wesleyan University 3,648,955
Trinity University 1,802,537
University of Dallas 1,605,241
University of the Incarnate Word5,062,133
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor3,900,966
University of St. Thomas 1,934,083
Wayland Baptist University 1,585,400
Wiley College 1,349,892
* Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Although the Legislature appropriated $105.8 million for the TEG program
for fiscal year 2011, $4 million was withheld to comply with the order for a 5% reduction in state agency budgets.
• Institution is not a member of ICUT.
TEG and Actions of the 81st Legislature
The 81th Legislature appropriated $105.8 million for each year of the 2010-2011 biennium for the TEG program.
The appropriation for the TEG program amounted to less than 1% of all the money the Legislature appropriated for higher education.
About $107,000 of TEG funds were used in fiscal year 2010 to meet obligations to TEXAS Grant recipients during that program’s phase-out at independent institutions. There are few, if any, remaining TEXAS Grant students at independent institutions.
In fiscal year 2010 $2.1 million of the TEG appropriation was withheld as part of the ordered 5% reduction in state agency budgets; in fiscal year 2011, $4 million was withheld.
Demonstrated student need for TEG exceeded $193 million in fiscal year 2010. The portion of the 2010 appropriation used for the TEG program met 53.6% of TEG need
How Needy Students Benefit from TEG
In fiscal year 2009, $104.7 million in TEG funds aided 30,446 Texas dependent and independent students with an average TEG of $3,441. These students had:
• average AGI of $35,973;
• average college expenses of $31,832; and
• average student need of $27,213.
About 40% of TEG students came from families with an EFC of $1000 or less and were eligible for a larger TEG because of “exceptional” need. Their average grant was $4,048 while students with “ordinary” received an average grant of $3,057.
How Taxpayers Benefit from TEG
TEG reduces taxpayer costs for higher education by providing limited financial assistance to needy Texas students attending Texas independent institutions of higher education. Degrees produced by independent institutions cost the taxpayers less than 10% of degrees produced by public institutions.*
For fiscal year 2009, the average TEG of $3,441 was slightly more than 45% of the estimated taxpayer contribution of $7,616 for each full-time student enrolled at a state university.
In fiscal year 2009, if TEG recipients had enrolled at state universities, Texas taxpayers would have paid more than $232 million, or more than twice the appropriation for TEG.
If Texas public institutions had to absorb TEG students without additional funding, the result would be larger classes, increased demand for libraries and technology, a lower percentage of students able to access the classes they need, reduced timely graduation and so on. In short, public higher education would face increased burdens and reduced quality.
*Source: OICA Fact Book, January 6, 2010
Dear Senator/Representative __________:
I am writing to urge your support for the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program.
For four decades the TEG program has made it possible for financially needy Texas students to attend our state’s 40 independent colleges and universities – thereby saving the State of Texas money! The average TEG grant in FY 2009 was $3,441 – less than one-half the estimated taxpayer contribution of $7,616 for each full-time student enrolled at a public university in the state. If the more than 30,000 Texas students who received TEG funds in FY 2009 had enrolled at state universities, it would have cost Texas taxpayers more than TWICE the appropriation for TEG.
Furthermore, the TEG program helps the neediest students in Texas higher education, with the average annual parental income of all TEG recipients less than $29,000. It is also worth noting that the current TEG appropriation is less than one percent of all money appropriated for higher education in Texas.
I realize this is a very difficult legislative session for you and your colleagues as you seek to erase the projected budget deficit. Doing so by significantly reducing TEG funding would actually be counterproductive, however, as it would force many current TEG recipients to either transfer to a public university – which would be more costly to the state – or discontinue their education altogether – which would jeopardize our state’s economic growth and future.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter and I hope I can count on your support for the TEG program this session.