Differential Tuition

What is differential tuition for engineering students?

Differential tuition is an additional charge that pays for enhancements to the learning experience of undergraduate students in engineering. These enhancements include extra sections of overfull courses, new computers and equipment, and even extra lecturers to teach classes.

Why does the College of Engineering charge differential tuition?

Technology changes so fast these days. To provide relevant engineering education and prepare you for entering the workforce, we have to make sure our equipment and laboratories keep pace with these advancing technologies.

And it’s not just at Texas A&M. Seven of nine public institutions with undergraduate engineering programs ranked higher than or equal to Texas A&M Engineering charge differential tuition. So in 2010, the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System approved differential tuition to help make sure that we can keep up with our peers in terms of resources available to our students.

Who pays differential tuition?

All undergraduate students majoring in engineering.

What is the current cost of differential tuition?

For the Fall 2015 students who are in the College of Engineering, the cost of differential tuition is $824.84.

How will my differential tuition dollars be spent?

All money raised through differential tuition will fund on enhancing undergraduate education, including:

  • Financial aid and targeted scholarships
  • Laboratory upgrades
  • Enrichment of targeted programs (including Study Abroad, the Undergraduate Summer Research Grant Program, student design projects, and others)
  • Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education
  • Hiring additional instructors
  • Faculty retention

What is the proposed increase?

The proposed increase is to have the differential tuition cost of $1,000/per semester starting with students who enter in Fall 2016.

When will the increase take affect?

The increase will take effect with students who enter in Fall 2016, effective September 1, 2016.

How will the new funds be allocated and why? 

  1. To hire 20 highly experienced Professors of Practice (PoP)   [55%]
  2. To provide innovative technologies for the student learning centers, design studios, and common undergraduate laboratories in the Engineering Education Complex (EEC)  [25%]
  3. To establish Engineering Career Center in Engineering Education Complex (EEC)  [20%]

How are current funds allocated and why?

  • 2014/2015 Differential Tuition Expenditures $12,159,067 total
    • 12% Upgrade undergraduate teaching laboratories
    • 31% Enrich targeted undergraduate programs
    • 2% Support for Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education
    • 52% Hiring of additional non-tenure track faculty
    • 3% Enhancement of courses

How will this increase affect our status as one of the top programs in the country in terms of value?

The increase will allow us to remain and excel as a top engineering program in the country with bringing in top professionals from industry, be a leader in the use of state-of-the-art educational technologies in our undergraduate courses, and provide much needed career services to our students in the EEC building, the primary location for undergraduate education.

How will the proposed 20 Professors of Practice be distributed across departments?

The 20 Professors of Practice will be distributed across departments as appropriate in terms of a match to their experience area.

How are differential tuition funds currently distributed across departments?

The 2015-2016 differential tuition funds are allocated to departments as given below:

Departmental Allocations

AERO $618,838
BMEN $329,900
CHEN $662,013
CPSC $1,224,392
CVEN $1,327,348
ECEN $1,330,669
ENTC $1,631,432
INEN $604,447
MEEN $1,611,858
MSEN $87,457
NUEN $270,119
PETE $740,614
EASA $2,000,000

Will funds be spent on technologies/equipment specific to each department?

The differential tuition funds are allocated to departments, for which the Department Heads will make strategic decisions on how to utilize these funds consistent with their vision and departmental goals.

How does our differential tuition compare to other in-state schools? 

We do not have this data at this time as we are comparing ourselves to Peers.

Is this a one-time fee? Will it continue to apply to each new class? Will the fee increase again in the coming years?

Differential tuition is charged as tuition and not a fee.  There are no plans to increase differential tuition for the next four years.

How will the differential tuition funds be spent after the first year? 

Many of the proposed commitments recur annually and will continue being supported with these funds.  Continually enhancement to labs, equipment, software, hardware, etc.  will also continue being addressed each year to secure our ability to provide the most up-to-date technology to our students.

When was the last time differential tuition was increased? 

Differential Tuition has not been increased since inception.

Do graduate students pay differential tuition?

No, the differential tuition is only paid by undergraduate students.

Are Professors of Practice full time?

Some Professors of Practice are full time and some are part-time.  Professors of Practice are non-tenure track faculty.  All faculty, including Professors of Practice, are evaluated annually.