The Tennessee Board of Regents Finance Committee voted unanimously Thursday to approve a 6 percent tuition increase.
The full board will vote on the proposal Friday. If approved, the system of six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 26 technology centers will join the University of Tennessee, whose Board of Trustees last week approved a 6 percent increase for its institutions.
Last year tuition was increased by 4.1 percent, but Bob Adams, Board of Regents vice chancellor for business and finance, said he thinks tuition in Tennessee is still a bargain.
“We certainly don’t want to increase tuition any, but just to ensure that we keep a quality product and hire the caliber of faculty that we want to, it takes additional funds,” he said.
The increase will raise undergraduate tuition at most four-year Regents universities to more than $2,500 per semester, while University of Memphis tuition will be over $2,700, according to figures on college Web sites. Rates are lower at community colleges.
Chattanooga State sophomore Aaron Ledwell, 22, said any tuition increase is difficult.
“It does add up when you pay more for books, too,” he said. “(The costs) pile up and can hurt you.”
Along with the probable tuition increase comes a 3 percent across-the-board raise for higher education employees that was included in this year’s state budget. Individual institutions have the option of supplementing that pay raise with a 2 percent salary pool, but not every campus may be able to afford that, Adams said.
Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com/
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