Tennessee College Students Prepare for Tuition Increase - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee College Students Prepare For Tuition Increase

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Yet again, college students across Tennessee should prepare to pay more to go to school.

Thursday, The University of Tennessee System Board will vote on tuition increases for their schools, and the Tennessee   Board of Regents will do the same next week.  The increases represent the latest chapter of an ongoing trend.  Over the last 10 years, tuition at 4 year public universities in Tennessee has increased 62 percent.

The finance committee for the state Board of Regents is recommending increases at all six of its universities, including a 6.8% increase at MTSU, a 5.6% increase at TSU, and a 3.4% increase at Austin Peay State University.

Students said they seem to be paying more each year, and the situation is frustrating.

"It stinks," said MTSU sophomore Alison Bates, "You also have to take into account housing and books which add up to a couple of thousand a semester.  I will probably have to take out more loans."

In order to fund faculty raises, the Tennessee State Board of Regents is recommending increases of 6-8% for U-T Knoxville, and about 4-6% for U-T Martin and U-T Chattanooga.  The board will vote on the increases at a meeting June 28-29.

 Some university officials said the steady tuition increase is the result in decreasing state funding.

"We do not like to raise tuition," said MTSU Spokesperson Andrew Oppmann, "but with rising costs, inflation and other costs, if appropriation declines, there aren't many other options."

Democrats in the state legislature are pushing for Gov. Bill Haslam to call a special session to put a freeze on college tuition costs.

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