COLUMBIA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved increases in tuition and fees that are among the lowest on average since 1996, including a $204 increase for full-time students at MTSU.
The June 19 action raises hourly maintenance fees/tuition an average of 3.3 percent across the six TBR universities, 13 community colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, according to a TBR news release.
Last fall, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission recommended tuition increases between 0 and 4 percent if this year’s state budget included dollars for the higher education funding formula that allocates funds based on a variety of metrics to encourage student success through outcomes like graduation and retention. The outcomes in the formula were funded.
As a result, students at Austin Peay State University will see a 2.4 percent maintenance fee/tuition increase. East Tennessee State University will see a 3 percent increase; Middle Tennessee State University, 3.1 percent; Tennessee State University, 2.8 percent; Tennessee Tech University, 10.9 percent; and the University of Memphis, 3.7 percent.
Tennessee Tech also is reducing its mandatory fees this year, so its changes will actually result in a 3.9 percent total revenue increase.
Students at community colleges will pay 3.4 percent more for maintenance fees, and TCAT students will see a 4 percent increase.
MTSU students saw a 5.3 percent hike for their 2014-15 academic year.
In addition to maintenance fees/tuition, which are charged by the credit hour, all students pay a set of mandatory fees that are unique to each campus, like athletics fees, student activities fees, health services fees, etc.
Mandatory fees were approved in March, but one additional change at ETSU was approved June 19 as well: ETSU will add a $290 student-approved mandatory fee to fund renovations to its Culp University Center.
When the increased maintenance fees/tuition are combined with the already approved mandatory fees, the total proposed price increases for in-state students taking a full-time course load of 12 credit hours would amount to the following per year:
- APSU — $333.
- ETSU — $486.
- MTSU — $204.
- TSU — $181.
- TTU — $332.
- UOM — $284.
- Community Colleges — $120.
- TCATs — $129 per trimester.
“We are pleased that the tuition levels are the lowest they have been in decades, but we do understand that every time fees are raised, someone may be priced out of an opportunity to attend one of our institutions,” TBR Chancellor John Morgan said.
“Tennessee is fortunate to have state leaders who recognize the integral connection between an educated workforce with affordable access to post-secondary education and the economic growth of our state. Our Hope lottery scholarship, the Tennessee Promise last-dollar scholarship and the Tennessee Reconnect grant, along with other state and federal aid programs, make higher education a more realistic option for more people today than ever before, but for those who must cover the full cost of attendance, any increase is unfortunate.
“Our institutions are more efficient now than ever, and they continue to focus their resources on ways that support student success to help more complete their credentials faster and more effectively,” Morgan continued. “We hope that in the coming years our state leaders will continue to find a way to make higher education a funding priority.”
Maintenance fees, often referred to as “tuition,” are the charges based on credit hours for in-state students.
For example, a student pays a flat rate for the first 12 hours of class credits and a discounted rate for any additional hours. Only out-of-state students are required to pay tuition in addition to maintenance fees.
Mandatory fees vary by institution, fund specified programs, and are paid by all students regardless of the number of hours they take.
A list of increases for 2015-16 and historical tuition data is available here.
The Tennessee Board of Regents is the governing body for the State University and Community College System of Tennessee and is among the nation’s largest higher education systems, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology, providing programs to more than 200,000 students across the state.