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(WBIR)- University of Tennessee students and their families will bear the burden of financial hardships in the state, administrators said Thursday. At their budget meeting, the University of Tennessee's Board of Trustees voted once again to increase tuition by 6 percent for most students.

"I think I've voted for a tuition increase every year I've been on the board. I don't think we've had one year where we didn't raise tuition. I don't like raising tuition but I don't like the other alternative either," said Trustee James Murphy, who added he was the second most senior board member.

University of Tennessee system administrators said raising tuition is not something they want to do. But with stagnant revenue from the state, they said there wasn't another option.

In the past six years, tuition has nearly doubled. In the 2008-2009 school year, in-state incoming freshmen paid about $5,428 per year. For the 2014-2015 school year, they will be paying $10,366 per year.

Students who enrolled the past three semesters-- Fall 2013, Spring 2014, or Summer 2014-- are guaranteed a 3% increase per year. The university made that commitment because those were part of a transition from 12 credits to 15 credits for full-time status.

President of the University of Tennessee System, Dr. Joe Dipietro, told the board the state's lack of revenue has put them in a tight spot. Ten years ago the state provided half of UT's revenue and student tuition was about 30%. Now it's almost reversed.

"Reality is we've transferred the cost of an education from what was once a greater amount of public support to lesser and lesser and to more of a student and family support," Dr. DiPietro said.

"That's not a good model. These great universities have been built on the fact that a public education comes at a low cost and we need to see if we can reverse those trends."

READ THE FULL BUDGET HERE

He said he and his staff are looking for solutions. Dr. DiPietro also said he believes attending the University is still affordable. He said 85 percent of students receive some form of financial aid. More than 60 percent also retain the Hope Scholarship that provides about $4,000 per year.

The $2.05 billion budget does not include facility or staff salary increases.

In a press release, UT Systems broke down the increases by campus:

  • 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 Tennessee Board of Regents is also proposing a 6.9 percent tuition increase for its universities, 5.8 percent for community colleges and 8.5 percent for its technical institutions.

It oversees six state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology. Those universities are Austin Peay, East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, and University of Memphis. Pellissippi State and Roane State are among the community colleges TBR runs. Click here for a full list of TBR schools and campuses.

10News checked the tuition and fees at several other SEC schools for comparison. At the University of Georgia, tuition and fees carry about the same price tag as UT. UT's tuition is a few hundred dollars more than the University of Kentucky.

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