|Cookeville – The Business and Finance Committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents Thursday voted unanimously to recommend to the full board tuition increases that will result in an average of 6.1% at the five TBR state universities including, MTSU.
Tuition at the state’s community colleges and technology centers will increase an average of 5.5 percent. 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.
For example, a full-time MTSU student taking 12 hours to 18 hours last year paid a flat fee of $2,151 per semester.
Starting in the fall students taking 12 hours will pay 6.56 percent more, or $2,292. Students taking 18 hours will pay 9.34 percent more, or $2,352.
The tuition increases must be approved by the full board at its meeting, Friday, June 19.
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 percent at the state universities, 2.8 percent at the community colleges, and 5.24 percent 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 percent increase, at the University of Memphis 7 percent, and at community colleges 5.5 percent.
Under the old system of charging for tuition, part-time students paid about $6,000 or 30 percent more for a university degree than full-time students. At community colleges, part-time students paid about 27 percent 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.
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.