Differential tuition for the School of Architecture was approved by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in May 2011 and went into effect in the fall 2011 semester. Each student majoring in an undergraduate program in the School of Architecture is charged an additional $767 per semester in addition to the university’s standard tuition.
During the 2018–2019 academic year, the Department of Architecture received $304,000 in differential tuition funds, which the department spent in the following areas:
To enable students’ matriculation to graduation and lower the total cost of a college degree, the department increased its summer course offerings.
- Our first-year summer module allowed 20 change-of-major transfers to enter our design sequence in their second year, saving students one year-to-completion in the program.
- ARCH 406, the final studio course for ENDS majors, was made available to 16 students in their final year in the program with fewer than 20 hours until graduation, enabling them to graduate a semester early or to make up hours needed to graduate on time.
In an effort to raise the quality of international study experiences for our students, we dedicated expenditures to infrastructure and pedagogical support for our international programs that allow for enhanced experiences beyond the scripted activities.
To increase the national reputation of our undergraduate program, we funded the travel expenses of students representing the department at the national conventions of our professional associations and programs. We sponsored 11 students to attend the 2019 AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., and 9 students to attend the AIAS Form in Seattle, WA. Total allocation of funds was approximately $10,000.
Renovations & Equipment
To keep our undergraduate studios on the cutting edge of pedagogical research, we used differential tuition funds to purchase new studio furniture for our new downtown studios in Bryan, TX. Funds were also used to rent and build-out the space, creating a more collaborative, inventive atmosphere where faculty and students experiment with new methods of delivering architectural education. Total allocation of funds exceeded $45,000.
Recruitment for Undergraduate Program
Funds were used to attract and retain high-quality undergraduate students from high schools and community colleges by offering more competitive scholarship packages. Early enrollment program, summer and two years — $1,000 per semester — or four (4) scholarships at $1,000 startup.
Funds were used to expand our existing lecture series to include world experts on a variety of relevant topics. Funds were also used for special invitations to studio series. We supported up to $13,000 in travel, lodging, meals, and lecturer fees.
The funds generated from differential tuition allow our students to enhance their education through various activities. Through both formal and informal meetings with the departmental student advisory group, students give feedback on initiatives for differential fund allocation while also making recommendations for its future use.