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Board of Regents approves tuition hikes

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

07-02-13 college tuition hikesFor the third year in a row, the Tennessee Board of Regents has approved a maintenance fee/tuition increase for its six universities and 13 two-year colleges.

Last month the Board of Regents approved maintenance fee/tuition recommendations at its universities and community colleges. While there is an increase, the fee increases are lower this year than in the past two years and will not affect the Tennessee Technology Centers.

When combined with mandatory fees already approved — including fees for athletics and student activities unique to each campus — the proposed increases for students taking 15 credit hours will amount to: $102 per year for community college students; $72 per year at Tennessee State University; $240 at Austin Peay State University; $348 at Middle Tennessee State University; $383 at Tennessee Technological University; $432 at the University of Memphis; $546 at East Tennessee State University.

Now, a freshman entering Tennessee Tech can expect to pay $1,532 more for their degree. That’s if they graduate in four years and there are no more tuition increases during that period, both of which are unlikely. A student who takes five years to graduate at TTU, would see his or her cost of education increase by $1,915. Again, that’s providing there are no more increases during the course of their college career.

Likewise, a student attending Middle Tennessee for the same five-year stint can expect an increase of $1,740 during the same period. A four-year student at MTSU will see an increase of $1,392.

Lynchburg’s Taylor Trail, a recent Moore County High School graduate, said she feels fortunate to have received one of the Mrs. Mary Bobo’s Scholarships. She plans to attend Motlow and pursue a nursing degree. Without the scholarship, as well as monies received from her Horseman Scholarship, Trail said attending college would be difficult.

She added that the rising cost of tuition wouldn’t have helped.

“It would be a lot worse because it’s only my mom helping me. It would be really bad,” said Trail. “If they want everyone to get an education, then they either need to make more scholarships (available) for those when they can’t afford it, or they don’t need to make (the cost) as high as it is.”

According to the Board of Regents, the increases in maintenance fees/tuition are needed to fund the portion of the mandated 1.5 percent salary increase for all state employees that was not funded through state appropriations and inflation cost increases in utilities and insurance.

Most institutions also requested additional increases to fund efforts to support student success.

“While we regret any increase in cost to students, we are grateful to be able to limit the extent of the increases this year thanks to additional state funding,” said TBR Chancellor John Morgan. “Our state leaders have recognized the critical role higher education plays in our state’s economic development.”

The Board approved a recommendation made by its Committee on Finance and Business Operations in early June to increase maintenance fees/tuition at the system’s 19 community colleges and universities across the state. It also took action on recommendations by a number of committees, including Finance and Business Operations, Personnel and Compensation, Academic Policies and Programs, and Tennessee Technology Centers.

In other new business, the Board approved a slate of new programs, including several in high-demand workforce fields in Tennessee. Among them are a new Master of Arts degree in Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Middle Tennessee.

Newly approved associate of applied science programs at Motlow College include Mechatronics Technology, as well as Information Systems Technology.

Additionally, the Board heard a report on the planned name change for the state’s 27 Tennessee Technology Centers and satellite campuses. A bill introduced in the legislature and signed by Governor Haslam changes the name of the centers to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology effective July 1.

***** Editor’s note: A complete list of maintenance fee/tuition and mandatory fee increases is available online at <>.