Board of Regents Approves Tuition Increases
Almost Three-Quarters of University and Community College Students Will See Increase of Around 6% or Less
Gallatin, Tennessee, June 25, 2010—The Tennessee Board of Regents today voted unanimously to approve the tuition increases recommended by the Committee on Business and Finance at its June 8 meeting. Next year’s tuition will increase 6.3% or less for over 72% of university and community college students, with the remaining students paying more because they are taking more hours. Technology center students, who are charged per trimester rather than based on hours of instruction, will see a per trimester increase of $112 over last year. The tuition increases are aimed at recovering only 80% of lost state funding and inflation costs and are designed to ensure that increases in tuition and mandatory fees combined for students taking 15 hours (the number of semester hours necessary to graduate in four years) are under 10%. These students will see a total increase ranging from 6.1% at Austin Peay State University to 8.2% at the community colleges. The attached charts show how much the hourly rate will be at each affected institution and how much students at each level of hours will pay compared to last year. The Business and Finance Committee has met four times since the first of the year to discuss tuition from a variety of perspectives, a process that culminated in its June 8 vote to recommend the increases approved today by the full board. Links to all background information may be found at http://www.tbr.edu/news/default.aspx?id=6503&ekmensel=c580fa7b_36_0_6503_8. Over the past three years, the TBR system has lost 25% of its state funding, almost $186 million. While numbers at specific institutions vary, the university sector has lost 29.7% of its state funding, the community colleges 20.8%, and the technology centers 15%. All institutions have undertaken budget reduction measures, but a tuition increase has proven to be unavoidable. Given the decision to replace only 80% of the reduced state funding with tuition, institutions will have to continue reducing spending and will have fewer dollars per student to spend. Enrollment is expected to continue to increase significantly; in the community college sector, for example, enrollment was up 16.9% in fall 2009 compared to fall 2008, and current projections for fall 2010 are for another 13.1% increase. The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 26 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to over 180,000 students.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.