While tuition costs are rising across the country, these tuition hikes are a little more controversial. WTAMU is looking to raise tuition on nursing students to raise faculty salaries.

West Texas A&M University may increase nursing tuition fees to help boost faculty salaries and pay for off-campus activities.

The Texas A&M University System board of regents on May 26 will consider a $30 per credit hour fee that will apply to all of WT's undergraduate nursing majors and graduate students seeking a family nurse practitioner master's degree.

The fee, proposed to start in the fall, would be added to the $152 per credit hour charge nursing students already pay. Tuition will remain flat for other students.

WT wants to increase tuition for nursing students because nursing faculty there make less than many of their national counterparts and higher salaries would help recruit and retain professors, said Gary Barnes, the university's top finance official.

The additional funds also will help cover the costs of using a simulation lab at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center on Wallace Boulevard, he said.

Nursing students at WT regularly use equipment at the Texas Tech lab to train for real emergency situations.

"It's specific to their program," Barnes said. "Those majors spend a lot of time at that center."

Enrollment figures show WT has 33 family nurse practitioner students and 250 nursing undergraduates. Students have to wait until their junior year to become nursing majors.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reports that the average annual salary of associate professors in nursing is $78,155. WT's average salary figures show that their associate professors of nursing earn an average of $73,854 per year.

Read more at amarillo.com