Proposals may allow Texas students to earn a bachelors degree for a flat feeThe State Senate Finance Committee recently met to discuss the Texas higher education budget, according to the news station KXAN.

Some state legislators told the news provider that there is too much wasteful spending in higher education. As a result, Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is proposing that colleges offer bachelors degrees for only $10,000 and suggests that they use more online programs to achieve that goal.

Officials found that tuition and fees for 60 credit hours at the Austin Community College cost $3,480. Meanwhile, the same number of hours at the University of Texas costs more than $18,000.

"It is time for a bold, Texas-style solution to their challenge that I am sure the brightest minds in their universities can devise," Rick Perry, Texas governor, told the news source. "I am challenging our institutions of higher education to develop bachelors degrees that cost not more than $10,000 including textbooks."

Perry added that goals can be reached by using online classes and innovative teaching techniques, which could help drive down the price of earning a bachelors degree. Furthermore, the proposal aims to freeze college tuition costs and fund an incentive plan that would award colleges for the number of students who graduate rather than the amount of enrollees at the institutions.

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey Learning, out of more than 2,500 colleges and universities in the U.S., nearly 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one web-based course in the fall 2009 semester.

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