Private Universities Will Suffer If TEG Is Cut, Warns Baylor President Starr

April 14, 2011

TEG called a smart educational investment providing economic dividends

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Baylor University President Ken Starr warns that private universities in Texas will be harmed if the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program is cut. Calling it an issue of vital importance, Starr is strongly encouraging alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the university to show their support for the embattled program.

Begun in 1971, the TEG program is in danger of being cut significantly by the state Legislature. This year, more than 3,200 Baylor students are benefitting from the program, and without it, many would be unable to attend Baylor. In all, the TEG supports 27,000 students annually.

In an email sent April 12 to alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the university, Starr stated, "In 1971, visionary leaders made a promise to future generations of young Texans when they established the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program. 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 pointed out that the TEG budget of $102 million is only a small part of the state budget, while providing a benefit to taxpayers since the program costs the government half of what it otherwise spends to send students to a public institution in Texas.

While allowing that budget cuts are inevitable and vowing that private institutions, including Baylor, are fully prepared to do their part, Starr stated that, "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."

Media contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, Assistant Vice President of Media Communications and Community Relations, 254-710-1964.

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