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Budget on Governor's desk allocates more money for UT, HOPE Scholarship

The budget is still waiting on Governor Bill Lee's signature.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennesee General Assembly allocated $647 million for higher education in its fiscal year 2022-2023 budget. Here's what some of the funds will be used for. 

The popular Tennesee HOPE Scholarship could receive more funding.

This is the largest increase in HOPE Scholarships for students at public four-year universities since the scholarship's creation. 

The awards will increase from $3,500 to $4,500 for full-time eligible freshman and sophomores and from $4,500 to $5,700 for full-time eligible juniors and seniors. 

Campuses and institutions within the University of Tennesee System could begin big upgrades. 

$403 million is appointed in the budget for public universities and community colleges in Tennessee. Here's how UT would spend the money they receive.

  • $72 million would be used to fully fund the UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII). This builds on $8 million appropriated last year and completes the state’s investment of this initiative eight years ahead of schedule. UT-ORII is now positioned to sustainably bring together world-leading scientists and engineers with students and faculty under one umbrella to provide innovative education, training and workforce development in areas of vital importance to Tennessee and our nation. 
  • $83 million would be spent to expand the UT Knoxville Haslam College of Business facility to accommodate program growth.  
  • $4 million recurring and $2 million nonrecurring would support the Institute for American Civics at UT Knoxville, the state’s flagship university. The non-partisan institute will be located at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and will support and enhance statewide efforts to highlight the role American institutions play in resolving conflict, advancing human dignity and making public policy.  
  • $2.9 million recurring will support the UT College of Veterinary Medicine in faculty recruitment and retention, and to increase student enrollment.
  • $500,000 nonrecurring for UT Knoxville and UT Chattanooga, respectively, will support minority engineering scholarships. 

The new budget includes a 4% salary pool for higher education employees across the state. 

UT Knoxville would receive $10 million to provide the salary increase for its employees. 

Governor Bill Lee still needs to sign the budget before it starts on July 1.  

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