by Jon Styf
Tuition at Tennessee’s public colleges and universities will not increase for the next school year after a vote from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission froze those tuition rates for the first time.
The board sets annual tuition and fee ranges that must be followed by the state’s public universities, colleges and Tennessee College of Applied Technology campuses.
The state of Tennessee contributed $90 million additionally to the state’s public college and university funding formula this year and $47 million in additional state funding to pay for a portion of a 4% employee salary increase.
“Today’s vote is a huge win for Tennessee students and families,” said THEC executive director Emily House. “THEC has been laser-focused on student affordability, and THEC’s tuition setting policy plays a large role in our ability to ensure students can afford to go to college. The vote by the Commission today represents years of conversations and hard work to get to this point. We can’t thank Governor Lee and the General Assembly enough for helping to put us in a position to make this happen.”
The board annually considers affordability, enrollment patters, inflationary costs and state funding in its tuition decisions.
Public colleges and universities must follow the ranges the board sets for both tuition and mandatory fees.
“Students are already facing higher prices for housing, groceries, and gas,” said commission chairman Evan Cope. “Thanks to a generous investment from the state and today’s action from the Commission, we’re able to tell these students that they won’t be paying higher prices for tuition. That can be a source of relief for student checkbooks.”
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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for The Center Square, Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.
Photo “University of Tennessee” by University of Tennessee.