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Baylor President Ken Starr Warns Texas Private Universities Will Suffer If TEG Cuts Go Through
Baylor President Ken Starr Warns Texas Private Universities Will Suffer If TEG Cuts Go Through | wac_txbz, private university, TCU, Baylor, Rice, Austin college, Trinity College, Saint Mary's University, St. Edwards,

Texas Business reports:  Baylor University president Ken Starr sent a letter today warning that a key state program’s proposed cuts will hurt the private universities of the state.

The Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) is being eyed by state legislators during the current budget crisis.

“Now, the Texas Legislature is considering a plan to cut TEG funding by half, potentially devastating a program that has served financially challenged Texas families for more than four decades,” Starr wrote in the letter.

Other private universities, such as St. Edwards' University, also have raised the cry about state funds being cut to private university students. 

At Baylor, more than 3,200 students could be hurt by this change in the TEG, according to a statement issued by the university.

“In 1971, visionary leaders made a promise to future generations of young Texans when they established the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program,” Starr said in his letter. “For forty years now, the TEG has provided need-based, education-empowering grants to talented and deserving Texas students choosing a private university experience. The TEG offers a modest grant to students with demonstrated financial need, many of whom aspire to be the first in their families to graduate from college. For these students, the TEG is essential in providing access to Baylor and its faith-based environment in which students are provided a distinct education grounded in a worldview of eternal significance.”

Starr writes that the statewide TEG budget of $102 million represents an infinitesimal part of the state budget. While it provides an extraordinary advantage to Texas students and families, its benefit to taxpayers is no less significant. The program costs state government half of what it otherwise spends to send students to a public institution in Texas.

“This year alone, more than 3,200 Baylor students are benefitting from this smart-dollar investment,” Starr said. “Without it, many would be unable to attend Baylor.”

“All of us in higher education recognize that this is a time for tightening belts,” Starr said. “Budget cuts are inevitable. Sacrifices are required, and private institutions, including Baylor, are fully prepared to do their part. But Texas will suffer if we turn a blind eye to the neediest of our neighbors. We must defend the public good created by the state's private institutions of higher learning. These institutions supply the sons and daughters of Texas with a distinct educational alternative while preparing young people to meet the challenges of this increasingly complex global century. The TEG helps ensure that this important educational option will continue to be available to all Texas students.”