Texas Technical Colleges to Receive State Funding Based on Students’ Post Enrollment Earnings Starting 2015

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that starting in 2015, state technical colleges will receive funding based on the post enrollment wages that students earn.  (Link requires subscription – if you don’t have one, your library may have one!)  Traditional funding metrics like degrees granted, credit hours taught, and total enrollment will be out the window (just for these technical colleges).  Instead, funding will be given out based on how much students make afterwards.  Students who complete about three classes will be considered in the formula, not just degree earning students.  This model will ensure that short term certificate students are also considered.

Some are concerned about how state funding will account for other issues related to unemployment – particularly local structural unemployment or cyclical unemployment.  While valid concerns the leaders of the technical colleges sound up to the test saying, “[T]he major thrust of what we do is employability.  It doesn’t scare us.” (Michael Reeser, the system chancellor – reported by Eric Kelderman in the article linked above).

Earlier this summer, Oregon considered parallel plan, where university students would pay off tuition as a percentage of their income – no matter how high or low – for a number of years after graduation.  Under the Oregon proposal, a bachelor’s degree earner would pay about 3 percent for 20 years.

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