Day 8: Tradition of Affordability

By on December 24, 2013

HawthorneToday is Day 8 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial year.

We continue The Top 10 Traditions that Form the Foundation of Miner Pride and Success.

8. A Tradition of Affordability When classes began at the Texas School of Mines, tuition was free and students paid a $30 fee for lab materials. The first administration consisted simply of three faculty members, one of whom doubled as the school’s dean. As enrollments grew over the century, tuition increased proportionately. Administrative costs remained low as faculty served in administration and administrators taught courses. Today, while the rising costs of college tuition and student loan debt makes headlines, UTEP is recognized for its affordability. When economic hard times in the 1970s and 1980s reduced public funding for universities, many schools passed the costs along to students. UTEP began to look for money in new places, particularly in the form of new and larger research grants, and that decision has both maintained costs low and strengthened UTEP’s research production and impact. In 1993 and 2007, UTEP scored the lowest ratio of administrators per student in the nation. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education ranked UTEP as having the lowest net price among all research universities in the nation.

Keith A. Erekson served as the Executive Director of UTEP's Centennial Celebration from December 2011 through May 2014. Learn more at