Troy board of trustees removes PACT tuition cap

Published 8:59 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

In May 2009, the Troy Board of Trustees approved a resolution to waive tuition increases for students enrolled in Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) program until spring 2012. On Friday, however, the board nullified that resolution.

The nullification comes as a response to the Alabama legislature’s passage of a bill that capped tuition for PACT students at all Alabama universities except Auburn University and the University of Alabama.

While Troy had previously capped its PACT tuition, Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., said the legislature’s bill was a cause for concern.

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“I think there is justification for indignation on the part of the nine universities that were affected by the legislature’s decision,” Hawkins said.

“When you go back to what this board did, I thought it was magnanimous, and it got a wonderful response from the PACT board.”

Hawkins said the legislature erred in making a distinction between the two largest universities in the state and the rest of Alabama’s institutions.

“Whether it was the intent or not, it essentially created a second-class status,” Hawkins said.

“With the other nine universities, we’re going to appeal on the basis of what’s right, and what’s right is to be on a level playing field.”

The board approved the resolution to nullify its previous resolution with only one amendment.

The amendment added essentially stated that the board felt it was its “inherent legal right” to set the tuition for Troy University, rather than the Alabama legislature.

The board also approved a resolution to raise the admission standards for undergraduate students.

The new standards call for a minimum ACT test score of 20 for unconditional admission, and a score of 17-19 for conditional admission.

For the SAT, the new minimum score is 950 for unconditional admission and 830-940 for conditional admission.

“I think this will only improve the quality of our institution in the long run, and it will add even more value to a Troy degree,” Hawkins said.

The 2010-11 budget was also approved, with a total budget of about $252.7 million, a 7 percent increase from the fiscal year 2009-10 budget.

The majority of the increase will be funded by tuition and fee increases, as well as a projected 3 percent enrollment growth.

The new enrollment projections call for 5,423 undergraduate students and 1,348 graduate students to be enrolled.

Hawkins also addressed a potential need for more dormitory space in his report to the board.

Troy currently has 1,990 bed spaces available, with 1,949 students assigned.

Once waiting lists are factored in, university housing will be maxed out for the third consecutive year.

“With the local apartment complexes saturated, we will have to look at dormitory space in the near future,” Hawkins said.