A Frank Phillips Freeze

The word “freeze” has several different meanings. Some good, some bad.

A freeze is often associated with weather. Those with allergies welcome the first freeze of fall. Those with gardens worry about a late freeze in the spring or early freeze in the fall. A freeze can pertain to economic conditions. Businesses and some governmental entities will place a freeze on hiring, travel, or other discretionary expenses during economic hardships. One would use “freeze” to solidify ice cream or to preserve some other perishable item. One might “freeze” in their tracks if they encountered a dangerous situation.

Yes, there are many uses for the word “freeze.”

Another good use of the word “freeze’ is when the cost of a good or service is not increased. Such is the case with tuition and fees at Frank Phillips College (FPC). As the college begins its 75th year of existence, tuition and fees for traditional classes at FPC will not increase for the first time in several years.

Even though inflation has caused the cost of many products and services to increase, the college is able to freeze tuition and fees for FY23-24. Factors that allowed the college to freeze tuition and fees include the following:

· New businesses and construction in the district

· FPC is one of only two Texas community colleges that has experienced enrollment increases in each of the last three years

· The Texas legislature passed a new funding formula bill that provides much needed additional funding to Texas community colleges, including scholarships for educationally disadvantaged dual credit (high school) students

Parents, please take note of the underlined sentence in the last bullet. The Texas legislature is now providing scholarships to economically disadvantaged students under the Financial Aid for Swift Transfer (FAST) scholarship program. This scholarship is based on whether the student is eligible for the free and reduced school lunch program. Therefore, it is important for any student who might be eligible for the scholarship to complete the information for free and reduced meals at their local school district.

What better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the college than to freeze tuition and fee rates for traditional students? Decrease the tuition rate for ALL dual credit students!

An additional benefit of the FAST program is that the tuition rate for ALL dual credit students is the same. Whether a dual credit student qualifies for the FAST scholarship or not, the tuition rate is the same. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board established a rate of $55 per credit hour for dual credit students for the FY23-24 year. This is a substantial decrease in the dual credit tuition rate for all students. Students who were paying $67, $83, or $97 per credit hour last year will all being paying $55 per credit hour at FPC for FY23-24.

The college is very pleased to provide this new tuition rate for dual credit students. High school students are encouraged to enroll in traditional academic or workforce programs. Who knows, perhaps your parents will reward you for the money they will save in college tuition?

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Dr. Glendon Forgey