Tuition hikes are on the horizon for Tennessee Board of Regents schools, like MTSU, but the question is how much more will students have to pay.
TBR will hold its regular quarterly meeting June 18 and 19, where tuition increases are one of the first items on the agenda.
“Tuition is going up because state funding is going down,” explained Mary Morgan, TBR’s director of communications.
TBR saw a presentation earlier this month that laid out two options for increasing tuition across the board.
Tennessee Higher Education Commission has recommended a 7 percent tuition increase and assigning a flat per hour rate to students taking more than 12 hours.
TBR is looking at raising tuition either 5.1 or 6.1 percent at four-year universities.
Under the 5.1 percent increase, classes at MTSU will cost $191 per hour up to 12 hours and $10 for additional hours. A full-time student taking 12 hours will pay around $2,200 per semester, not counting fees.
Under the 6.1 percent increase, classes will cost $193 per hour up to 12 hours and $10 for additional hours. A full-time student at MTSU taking 12 hours will pay around $2,300 per semester, plus additional fees.
The state of Tennessee will reduce higher education funding by about 15 percent, Morgan said, because of falling state revenues in all sectors.
“Federal stimulus dollars will help over the next two years, but by 2011, our institutions all must be at the reduced budget levels,” Morgan said. “As state appropriations go down, tuition goes up—those are the only sources of revenue for our institutions.”
So far this fiscal year, Tennessee’s economy has shrunk by more than 7 percent, leaving a $1.011 billion hole in the state budget.
The state will plug the hole with cuts to most departments, including funding of public higher education.
State colleges also have to factor in rising costs for utilities and health care, Morgan said.
“That is why all of our schools are making cuts and will be offering larger classes and fewer sections,” she said.
Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.