A sign points to the financial aid office at Pellissippi State
Tennessee students are bracing to shell out hundreds more dollars for college tuition this year.
UT Knoxville could bump tuition by as much as eight percent this year, and students at colleges like Pellissippi State Community College will probably pay around four percent more.
Tara Collins is a current student at Pellissippi State, preparing for a career as an Administrative Assistant. She says she chose the school in part for its affordability.
"It's definitely cheaper here than going to a major university or a larger college," she said.
Collins pays for her schooling through a work study program. With a possible increase in tuition next year, she is concerned about her mounting loans.
"It's going to make it harder in long run, when I do get a job and have to pay back loans and all that."
Christine George, a UT Knoxville student, is also worried about her student loans.
"We're in an economy where, we're going to pay these off 20 years from now," she said. "It's not something we're going to be able to write off and pay with our first paycheck."
George will be a sixth-year history student this fall, and works full time to support herself through school.
While Collins and George are both concerned about the financial burden, they agree a good education takes sacrifice.
"It's still very important to go back to school and do something with yourself and make something better," said Collins.
George adds, "You have to have your education if you want to get a decent job. So it's like a give and take, it's a vicious circle."
10News compared tuition rate increases at both women's schools over the past five years.
Tuition at Pellissippi State and other public community colleges is up 36 percent since 2007.
At UT Knoxville, tuition has increased 52 percent since 2007.
Those numbers include the price increases recommended for the upcoming year.