But now, around 13 public universities later, Lindsay has seen that graduating in Texas with little to no debt is a possibility thanks to variations of Perry’s plan.
And the concept is not exclusive to Texas, as the UNC-system Board of Governors considered a similar proposal in 2013.
The Texas model
Lindsay, director of the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said he has been contacted by legislators nationwide looking to develop their own plans.
Perry’s original proposal — for two years of online learning and competency-based programs — has been specifically adopted by Texas A&M in Commerce, Texas.
But Kyle Beran, a chemistry professor at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, said he has found his university’s Texas Science Scholar program, a variation of these $10,000-degrees, to be effective for majors with low enrollment numbers and low graduation rates.
“With empty seats and small academic programs, especially in the sciences, small schools can manage additional students from a TSS program without the administration having to invest additional resources,” Beran said.
He said this would particularly serve schools like UT-PB and its peer institution, UNC-Pembroke, who have a harder time differentiating themselves from other smaller universities to prospective students.