Leaders on the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee are proposing a plan to charge full-time students for an additional three credit hours per semester, beginning with the freshman class of 2013.
UTK Chancellor Jimmy Cheek is dubbing the initiative, "Take 15, graduate in 4."
Currently, a student taking 12 credit hours per semester is considered full-time. Under the new plan, a full-time student would pay for 15 credit hours per semester.
That means in-state undergraduates would be paying about $1,400 more per year. Those students then would pay tuition increases of 3 percent per year for the next three years. After four years, they would pay the prevailing rate.
The plan would only affect students at the Knoxville campus, and does not impact current students or those admitted for this fall.
Cheek says he hopes the change will encourage students to graduate in four years, reducing student debt.
Cheek lays out the following points in his tuition model he is presenting to trustees:
"The funds will provide:
This new model will:
- Courses and laboratories needed for graduation
- More academic advisors
- UTrack system for monitoring progress toward graduation
- More tutoring and academic support services
- More effective communication with undergraduate students
- Increased communications with prospective students
- Better student/faculty ratio
- More summer school options
- More courses online
- Additional need-based scholarships for Tennessean
- Improve graduation rate
- Increase state funding through the Complete College Tennessee Act
- Increase capacity to serve other students
- Produce more undergraduate degrees annually
- Accelerate progress toward Top 25 goal"
The full board would have to approve the plan at its Thursday meeting.