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Why We Need Your Support


If The University of Texas at Austin is a public institution, why does it seek private support?

The state share of the university’s budget is shrinking even as UT Austin pursues its most ambitious goal yet — to be the best public research university in the nation.

For example, in 1984-85 the state of Texas contributed 47 percent of the university’s budget. Today that share is only 13 percent.

Another part of the university’s funding structure is the often-misunderstood Permanent University Fund, or PUF. If you’ve heard that the University is “rich” from oil money, you’ve heard about the PUF. But — no matter how romantic the notion of UT as oil baron and wealthy institution may be — the facts tell a different story.

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Texas does use some oil revenue to help fund higher education, just as other states draw upon their industries to support public services. The PUF isn’t “extra” money — it’s part of the state’s higher-education funding structure.

PUF assets include more than 2 million acres of oil- and mineral-producing land in West Texas. However, the revenue from these acres does not go exclusively to UT Austin but to 17 institutions in the Texas A&M and University of Texas Systems.

Meanwhile, the university continues to offer tuition and fees that are lower than many of its peers. FY 2012-13 undergraduate resident tuition and fees at UT Austin ranked second-lowest out of a 12-institution national comparison group. Tuition and fees account for about one-fourth (24 percent) of the university’s 2013-14 budget.

The majority of funding for UT Austin comes from sources other than the state of Texas. State funding alone is not what makes The University of Texas a university of the first class. But thanks to private support, UT drives economic, social, and cultural progress as one of the world’s most powerful centers of learning, research, and creativity.