Board of Regents to consider tuition, fees for Academic Year 2024-25

Tennessee Board of Regents to meet Oct. 31 to consider criteria for next president of TCAT Memphis

At its June 13 quarterly meeting, the Tennessee Board of Regents will consider tuition and mandatory fee increases totaling 4.88 percent at the state’s technical colleges and from 4.58 to 5.37 percent (an average of 5.2 percent) at the community colleges, under recommendations approved May 29 by the board’s Finance and Business Operations Committee.

If approved by the full board in June, tuition and mandatory fees for an academic year would increase by $201 (or $67 per trimester) at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and by an average of $241 ($218 to $256) for students taking 15-credit-hour course loads at the community colleges.

TBR strives to hold tuition and fees as low as possible for students, and despite the proposed increases, Tennessee's community and technical colleges will continue to be the most affordable higher education option available in the state. With Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other state and federal financial aid programs, most students may attend the free of tuition and mandatory fees. (Mandatory fees are assessed all students enrolled at a college, as opposed to miscellaneous course-specific, equipment and lab fees.) Most of our students graduate with zero loan debt.

Tennessee Promise, for new high school graduates, and Reconnect, for adults who have not earned college-level credentials, cover tuition and mandatory fees. Tennessee’s financial aid resources are among the highest in the nation, according to the National Association of State Student Grant Aid Programs. Tennessee ranked eighth in total state grant expenditures as a percentage of state fiscal support for higher education and had the sixth largest expenditure of grant dollars per estimated population.

The proposed increases are in line with the percentage increases in tuition for Academic Year 2024-25 either already approved or under consideration at the state’s public universities -- but overall tuition and fees at the community and technical colleges are less than half of the public four-year institutions, excluding room and board. If approved by the full Board of Regents, tuition and mandatory fees for in-state residents would total $4,320 for a full academic year (three trimesters) at the TCATs and from $4,972 to $5,032 for two semesters at the community colleges. TBR is proposing no change in out-of-state tuition and the E-rate fee (paid by non-Tennessee students enrolled exclusively in online courses) due to an ongoing review of out-of-state tuition rates at institutions in Tennessee and in surrounding states.

In recommending the proposed rates, TBR finance staff noted that the increases are needed to partially cover operating cost increases due to inflation, a portion of a 3 percent salary increase not funded by state appropriations, changes in federal overtime pay rules, and program initiatives at the colleges.

Over the last 10 years, tuition and fees at TBR community and technical colleges have increased an average of 2.1 to 2.5 percent annually, while inflation rates have increased an average of 3.04 percent annually during that time. In two of the last four years (Academic Years 2020-2021 and 2022-23), there were no increases in tuition at TBR institutions, and some fees were fully suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the other two years, tuition and fee increases were less than 3 percent each year. TBR historically attempts to cover only up to 80 percent of inflation costs, while finding cost savings to cover the remainder.

Finally, the colleges – like other affected employers – face potentially higher employee overtime costs as a result of new Fair Labor Standards Act rules governing overtime pay scheduled to go into effect July 1. The changes could have potential costs of $2.5 million across the TBR system.

TBR is also working toward standardizing fees across its colleges.

Today's meetings of the Board of Regents committee chairs, Personnel and Compensation Committee, Finance and Business Operations Committee, and Audit Committee were live-streamed and are archived for viewing anytime at Board materials are also posted at the same site.   The tuition and fee discussion was during the Finance and Business Operations Committee. 

The June 13 Board of Regents meeting is scheduled to convene at 12:30 p.m. at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, TN. It will be live-streamed on the TBR website at

The tuition and fee proposals to be considered by the Board of Regents June 13:

Proposed tuition and mandatory fees for Academic Year 2024-25

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 24 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.