Among the duties of the Tennessee Board of Regents is establishing fee and tuition rates for students at TBR institutions. While rates have increased steadily over the years, TBR institutions still receive and spend about the same amount of money per full-time equivalent student today as they did in 1987 (adjusting for inflation). The cost has remained flat, but the funding source has shifted away from state appropriations and onto students through fees and tuition. In 1987, state appropriations covered the majority of the cost, and student fees and tuition accounted for 27% at our universities. By 2014, however, those shares had reversed with students paying 58% of the cost at community colleges.
Maintenance fees, commonly 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 course credits and a discounted rate for any additional hours. Students classified as “out-of-state” are required to pay out-of-state tuition in addition to maintenance fees.
Students at each campus also pay mandatory fees to support student activities, athletics, cultural opportunities, and other unique projects and campus-specific programs. Mandatory fees vary from institution to institution and are paid by all students regardless of the number of hours they take.
The combined cost of maintenance fees, out-of-state tuition (if applicable), and mandatory fees result in the total price a student must pay.
Please Note: 1Data for community colleges are calculated for students taking 12 hours per semester for two semesters. Data for colleges of applied technology are calculated for full-time students for three trimesters. Neither dataset includes books, housing, special course fees.