UT Dallas Partners with 18 Community Colleges
To Offer Fixed Tuition, Benefits to Transfer Students

‘Comet Connection’ Provides Seamless Transition to Four-Year University

June 22, 2007

The University of Texas at Dallas has entered into agreements with 18 Texas community colleges that guarantee their students fixed tuition and fees at UT Dallas for four years and offer other enrollment benefits to those who transfer to the four-year institution.

Representatives of the colleges will mark their new relationship with UT Dallas at a luncheon today on the university’s campus in Richardson.  The keynote speaker at the event will be Noelia Rodriguez, former press secretary and communications director for First Lady Laura Bush, who will talk about “The Value in Community College and University Partnerships.”

“We are very pleased with these new, innovative cooperative arrangements between UT Dallas and many of the state’s community colleges,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel.  “It will help take the guesswork out of college costs for transfer students and their families and make it more attractive for students to finish their degree requirements sooner.”

Students can take advantage of the program by registering with their community college and with UT Dallas through a program called Comet Connection.  By doing so, a student can lock in the current tuition rate for four years. 

For example, a student who locks in the fall 2007 rate this fall by registering will be eligible to pay no more than that amount through 2011.  The tuition lock also applies to graduate students, including those who take their undergraduate work at UT Dallas, and continue on to a graduate program.

For example, a community college student who locked in 2007 tuition could begin at UT Dallas in fall 2008, graduate in spring 2010 and use the remaining time in the four-year tuition lock-in period to enter graduate school at UT Dallas under 2007 graduate tuition rates.

Students who join UT Dallas’ Comet Connection program could realize savings in tuition and other costs amounting to thousands of dollars over their college career, said Dr. Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, UT Dallas’ associate provost for enrollment services.

“Thanks to the cooperation between our institutions, students will now be eligible for UT Dallas’ innovative Guaranteed Tuition Plan, which locks in tuition and fees for a full four years,” said Piñeres.  “When a student completes his or her studies at their community college, they can seamlessly transfer to UT Dallas and know what the cost of their tuition and mandatory fees will be.”

In addition, under the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, students are not charged for semester credit hours in excess of 15 per semester.  For example, those taking 18 hours of classes will pay the same cost as 15 hours.

Earlier this year, UT Dallas joined a handful of universities around the nation who offer all new students guaranteed tuition.  Through the Comet Connection, students who enroll at participating two-year schools in the 2007-08 academic year can lock in the same fall 2007 rate the university will offer its incoming freshmen.

To capture the most tuition savings, students should sign the Comet Connection agreement as early as their first semester at community college.  Then, after completing at least 30 credit hours, they can apply for admission to UT Dallas and take up to a year after acceptance to enroll in classes.

UT Dallas has extended the Comet Connection offer to the following institutions:  Alamo Community College District, Austin Community College, Central Texas College, Collin County Community College District, Dallas County Community College District, Grayson County College, Hill College, Kilgore College, McLennan Community College, North Central Texas College, North Harris Montgomery Community College District, Paris Junior College, San Jacinto College District, Tarrant County College District, Temple College, Trinity Valley Community College, Tyler Junior College and Weatherford College.

Comet Connection participants receive other benefits beyond fixed tuition and fees, including:

  • Comet Connection student ID card
  • Comet Connection student rate to athletic, cultural and social events on the UTD campus
  • Access to Pre-Health and Pre-Law Resource Center and sponsored activities
  • Access to UT Dallas libraries through the TexShare program as well as use of the public terminal in the McDermott Library
  • One-on-one access to academic advisors on the UT Dallas campus
  • Access to Enrollment Services events

“Many of our students do not take the conventional path that leads straight from high school to a four year college degree,” Piñeres said.  “With the Comet Connection, transfer students now have the opportunity to begin their higher education at a community college while at the same time enjoying many of the benefits and experiences of campus life at UT Dallas.”

For more information on the Comet Connection, call the Comet One Stop at 972-883-2270 and ask for an admissions counselor.  Or visit www.utdallas.edu/connect.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.


Contact: Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293, smcgreg@utdallas.edu

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