UT Board of Trustees approves 6% tuition hike

UT Board of Trustees approves 6% tuition hike

Posted:
By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved a tuition hike Thursday afternoon. UT-Knoxville students will see a 3 to 6 percent hike, while UT-Chattanooga students will see a 6 percent hike for both in and out of state students.

Previous story: UT, other Tennessee colleges facing possible tuition hikes

The hikes are mostly a result of state revenue shortfalls that prevented the legislature from appropriating new funds.

The trustees approved a $2.05 billion budget for fiscal year 2015, which the university says reflects flat state funding for higher education. The budget contains no salary increases for faculty and staff for the first time since 2011.

"We're dealing with very hard times. What we would hope is that the state would realize the importance of higher education and fund it, and fund the formula," said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek.

Both in and out of state students at UT Chattanooga will see a flat increase of 6 percent.

"This is not a comfortable set of circumstances to be in. A lot of us thought by the time we got to 2013 the economy in the state would be robust and we wouldn't have the revenue issues we do," said UT President Dr. Joe DiPietro.

At UT Knoxville new freshman, transfers, and students enrolled before 2013 will be paying 6 percent more than the current rate. Although, students enrolled between the Fall of 2013 as well as the Spring and Summer of 2014 will only see a 3 percent hike.

"The problem is our business model is not a very good one if we don't want to continue passing the cost onto students and their families," added President DiPietro.

Officials say the tuition goes to things like utilities, scholarships, new faculty positions, and even academic programs and research projects.

"I guess I understand it. I don't think it's the best idea. I think it's a burden on already overburdened undergraduates," said UT Doctoral student Noah Soltau.

Tuition increases approved for all campuses effective this fall:
  • UT Chattanooga – 6 percent increase, or $365 a year more, for in-state undergraduates ($6,430 a year total) and $436 a year more for in-state graduate students ($7,708 a  year total)
  • UT Knoxville students admitted before fall 2013 – 6 percent increase, or $496 a year more, for in-state undergraduates ($8,766 a year total) and $572 a year more for in-state graduate students ($10,112 a year total).
  • UT Knoxville students admitted in fall 2013 under the 15-4 tuition model – 3 percent increase, or $294 a year more, for in-state undergraduates ($10,074 a year total) and $390 a year more for in-state graduate students ($11,584 a year total). The new 15-4 model charges new full-time undergraduates for 15 credit hours instead of 12 credit hours to encourage four-year graduation.
  • UT Knoxville students admitted in fall 2014 under the 15-4 tuition model – $10,366 a year for in-state undergraduates and $11,876 a year for in-state graduate students.
  • UT Martin – 6 percent increase, or $380 a year more, for in-state undergraduates ($6,716 a year total) and $454 a year more for in-state graduate students ($8,014 a year total)
  • UT Health Science Center – no tuition increases
  • UT Veterinary Medicine – 5 percent increase or $1,132 a year more for in-state students and out-of-state students
The board also approved a policy on a Student Programs and Services Fee, directing the UT-Chattanooga and UT-Knoxville campuses to develop an opt-in procedure before fall semester, allowing students to expressly authorize payment toward student programs funded by the Student Programs and Services Fee.

The policy also directs the campuses to include a statement that student-organized programming may be controversial or objectionable. A list should be provided of all student-organized programming funded by the SPSF during the previous academic year.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is also proposing an 8.5 percent increase for its 27 technical institutions across the state. They are scheduled to vote on the matter Friday.
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