Tuition Increases Approved by Board

The Tennessee Board of Regents today voted to approve tuition increases that will result in additional revenue of 7.1% at the University of Memphis, an average of 6.1% at the five TBR state universities (APSU, ETSU, MTSU, TSU, and TTU), an average of 5.5% at the state’s community colleges, and 5.5% at the technology centers. Except at the technology centers, where the 5.5% is an across-the-board tuition increase, these are tuition REVENUE increases, NOT tuition increases. The amount any given student’s tuition will increase depends on how many hours the student takes, since TBR is beginning this fall to charge for every hour taken with no cap. In the past, TBR has capped tuition at 12 hours, after which students attended free. However, hours above 12 will be steeply discounted this year, with only a $10 per hour additional charge. The attached Excel spreadsheet shows 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, when the tuition cap was in effect. The attached charts show increases in out-of-state tuition as well as medical and law schools and graduate programs. The only no vote was from Student Regent Gionni Carr. Students taking under 12 hours are the beneficiaries of the change in tuition policy under which TBR universities and community colleges now charge for each hour taken. For those students, tuition will go up only 1.06% at the state universities, 2.8% at the community colleges, and 5.24% at the University of Memphis. If the board had not changed its way of charging and had again done an across-the-board tuition increase, all students at state universities would have faced about a 6% increase, at the University of Memphis 7%, and at community colleges 5.5%. Under the old system of charging for tuition, part-time students paid about $6,000 or 30% more for a university degree than full-time students. At community colleges, part-time students paid about 27% more. The Tennessee Board of Regents believes that in order to fill Tennessee’s need for a better educated population, it is important to encourage people who cannot go full time to pursue higher education nevertheless. The inequity in the cost of a degree for part-time students has been a disincentive for their attendance. In other actions, the board re-elected Governor Bredesen as chair and Bob Thomas as vice-chair. The board also approved an agreement with Chancellor Charles Manning under which he will continue to serve for 18-24 months. Manning had announced his retirement effective June 30 but at the request of the board has agreed to stay on until at least December 31, 2010 but no longer than June 30, 2011. The board passed several resolutions honoring retiring staff. Jerry Preston, Executive Director of Facilities Development, is retiring June 30 after serving in that position for 14 years. He had previously served 14 years with the Department of Finance and Administration. Northeast State Community College President William Locke also is retiring effective June 30 after 13 years of service in that position. The director of the Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton, Jerry Patton, is also retiring effective June 30 after 9 years of service. In addition, the board approved resolutions thanking Faculty Regent Ed Stevens and Student Regent Gionni Carr for their year of service

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.