Tennessee Board of Regents to Discuss Tuition Increases

The Board will consider tuition and fee hikes for the 2024-25 academic year.

The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) will address potential tuition and mandatory fee increases for the 2024-25 academic year at its upcoming quarterly meeting on June 13. The proposed increases include a 4.88% rise for the state’s technical colleges and an average of 5.2% for community colleges, based on recommendations from the Finance and Business Operations Committee.

If approved, students at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) would see an annual increase of $201, while community college students taking a 15-credit-hour course load would encounter an average increase of $241. Despite these adjustments, TBR maintains that Tennessee’s community and technical colleges remain the most affordable higher education options in the state.

Through programs like Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, as well as other state and federal financial aid initiatives, many students can attend tuition-free. Tennessee is recognized for its significant financial aid resources, ranking high nationally in state grant expenditures.

The proposed hikes align with tuition increases either approved or under consideration at Tennessee’s public universities. If enacted, in-state tuition and fees would total $4,320 annually at TCATs and range from $4,972 to $5,032 at community colleges. There are no proposed changes for out-of-state tuition and the E-rate fee for online courses.

TBR officials cite inflation, a portion of a 3% unfunded salary increase, changes in federal overtime pay rules, and new college program initiatives as reasons for the proposed increases. Historically, TBR attempts to cover only up to 80% of inflation costs, seeking cost savings for the remainder.

Additional factors include new Fair Labor Standards Act rules on overtime pay, effective July 1, which could cost the TBR system an estimated $2.5 million. Efforts are also underway to standardize fees across TBR colleges.

Meetings of the TBR committees, including the Finance and Business Operations Committee, were live-streamed and are available for viewing on the TBR website. The June 13 meeting at Jackson State Community College will also be live-streamed and can be accessed here.

The College System of Tennessee, governed by the TBR, is the state’s largest public higher education system, serving approximately 140,000 students across 13 community colleges, 24 colleges of applied technology, and the TN eCampus.

For more information, contact Richard Locker at 615-366-4417. Follow updates on Twitter at @CollegeSystemTN.

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