Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Well Documented Financial Criminals engage in (yet another) act of Book Cooking

"A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished."
Proverbs 28:20

A chart and presentation at a meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents this week gave the impression that all undergraduates whose family incomes fall under certain levels don’t have to pay tuition and fees. In fact, that’s not the case.

Consider UT-Austin. It appeared, based on the chart in the Board of Regents’ agenda book and the presentation at Monday’s meeting, that full-time undergraduates from Texas whose family incomes are $80,000 or less a year get 100 percent of tuition and fees covered by grants, scholarships or tuition waivers.

Not so, said many students, graduates and parents on social media after reading news reports, including an article and a tweet by the American-Statesman, and examining the chart. At the meeting, the regents approved a 2 percent increase in tuition and fees for the fall and another 2 percent rise in fall 2019, resulting in a total increase of $420 a year for undergraduate students, who will pay on average of $10,818.

As UT System spokeswoman Karen Adler put it when the Statesman raised questions about the data, there are “devils in the details.”

The No. 1 devil is that the information regarding the $80,000-or-less income category applies to the “average student” in that category at the Austin campus, not every student in that category.

Some students receive more than 100 percent of tuition and fees in the form of a grant, scholarship or waiver — with the additional money going toward living expenses — while others receive less than 100 percent, said Meredith Goode, UT System academic policy director. But averaged among all of the recipients, the aid covered tuition and fees.

“They obviously didn’t put all of the qualifying small print into the presentation,” said Joey Williams, a UT-Austin spokesman, adding that it conveyed the impression of a tuition promise. “We don’t have a tuition promise that matches any income currently,” he said.
As someone who first became interested in the internal workings of the UT Politburo following their $215 million accounting scandal in 2012, we've seen this movie before.  The only difference is that this time the Board of Regents went along unanimously.  Something, something, more things stay the same....

Bottom Line: To paraphrase the GEICO commercial, if you're the University of Texas, you lie about money; it's what you do....

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