Does Texas owe you $1,000?

Does Texas owe you $1,000? Since 1997, the state has incentivized the efficient completion of a bachelor’s degree by offering a $1,000 rebate for students who complete their degree in four years and take limited hours courses outside of their major. An Austin American-Statesman article on the incentive, however, found that many university students are unaware of the rebate. Institutions estimate how much they will dole out in rebates annually, and request those funds of the legislature. UT Austin awarded more rebates than any other university who responded to the Statesman’s inquiry. Students at all 37 of the state’s public institutions are eligible for the rebates.

UT Austin and Texas A&M were both included in the top universities in the world, according to The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. UT Austin earned the number 36 spot on the list, while A&M is ranked between 71 and 80. The rankings are created “using the world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey,” which is described in this piece. Data on each institution can be found on this interactive site, which includes information on student populations, student teacher ratios, degrees offered, tuition and fees, and more.
On his final day as Chancellor of the UT System, Bill McRaven noted in his farewell message that it has been “the honor of a lifetime” to serve in the role. He thanked the Board of Regents, elected officials, System employees, and the presidents of the academic and health institutions who served alongside him. In a wide-ranging interview with the Texas Tribune, McRaven covered everything from his tenure at the System to what keeps him up at night. … “the thing that keeps me up at night is making sure that the state of Texas … and the nation is investing in our pre-K through 12 in a way that will put our young men and women in a position to be successful.”
“Changes to U.S. policy on Chinese visas may trickle down to college enrollment, officials warned, and Texas' schools may feel some impact.” That’s the lede of a Houston Chronicle story that showcases one byproduct of the shifting immigration policies of the Trump Administration. Chinese students are the largest group of international students at many Texas universities, and just second to India in overall foreign students in Texas with 8,400 enrolled last fall to India’s 12,600. Institutions have seen a decline in international enrollment overall, which “analysts attribute to U.S. degree costs, policy rhetoric unfriendly to foreign students and rising competition from other countries.”
A new state law that prohibits state universities from “contracting with or investing public money in companies that boycott Israel” has become entangled with the debate over free speech on college campuses in Texas. The Houston Chronicle highlighted the tension between the law and free speech advocates who say being forced to sign a contract not to boycott Israel infringes on First Amendment rights. State Rep. Carol Alvardo, a co-sponsor of the bill pledged to “re-evaluate the law next session.”
The Gates Foundation’s higher education project, Postsecondary Success, highlighted new research on American attitudes on higher education. The second annual Varying Degrees study by New America found “mixed views on performance and the need for change” among other results. “While a solid majority believes that education after high school is key for having a well-paying job, three-quarters of those surveyed also disagree with the notion that higher education is fine the way it is. When it comes to value, respondents voiced split views, giving higher marks to community colleges and public universities over private and for-profit institutions.”

Latest Updates

  • Man Eaters

    Last week The University of Texas System Board of Regents named James Milliken as the sole finalist for the role of UT System chancellor. Milliken is the former chancellor of the City University of New York. In a statement Milliken said he would “welcome the opportunity to play a lead role in advancing this system of outstanding universities in the 21st Century.” According to the Texas Tribune, “Larry Faulkner, who has led the system on an interim basis since the former chancellor, Admiral Bill McRaven, stepped down in May, is expected to keep his position until Milliken's appointment is finalized and he can begin the job.” Additional coverage of the announcement can be found in the Austin Business JournalHouston ChronicleInside Higher EdThe Eagle and the Daily Texan, among other publications.

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  • Texas Universities in Service to Our Country

    The University of Texas System is the proud new home base for U.S. Army Futures Command. The Command is a new entity and is part of a reorganization of the Army. It will be responsible for “coordinating modernization efforts and integrating innovation across the Army.” In making the announcement, the Pentagon indicated Austin was selected “because of its already-vibrant ecosystem of innovation, civic engagement and higher education, which includes UT Austin, one of the top-ranked research institutions in the nation,” according to the UT System.

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