published Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

UT board approves budget, UTC tuition going up 9.9 percent

Students walk across campus at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in this 2005 file photo.
Students walk across campus at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in this 2005 file photo.
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The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees today approved a tuition increase for several campuses including a 9.9 percent tuition increase at UTC.

Effective this fall in-state students at the Chattanooga campus will pay about $5,000 a year for an undergraduate degree and more than $6,000 for graduates, according to a news release.

The board approved a $1.861 billion budget for fiscal year 2012, reflecting a loss of stimulus funding, tuition increases at each campus and raises for faculty and staff for the first time in four years, according to the release.

For 2012, the university system will receive $411.3 million in state appropriations, down 25 percent, or $138 million, from a year ago. Revenue from tuition fees is estimated at $488.4 million, marking the first time student fees have exceeded state appropriations.

Gov. Bill Haslam, attending the meeting as chair of the board, said higher education has been vulnerable to cuts in the state’s budget and all areas of the budget will be endangered while health care costs continue to increase.

“It’s a strong hope you won’t see those cuts in the future,” Haslam said.

The tuition increases differed for each campus to address specific needs and individual institution missions, the release said. Overall, the increases will help offset higher operating costs and the decline in state appropriations and enable the University to fund employee pay increases for the first time since fiscal year 2008.

At UTC the pay increase will be 3 percent across the board and 1 percent nonrecurring merit pools.

Among other things, the board also approved new admission requirements for all campuses. Beginning fall 2012, the freshman admission standard at UTC will be raised from a 2.75 GPA to 2.85 GPA with an 18 ACT composite score or an 890 SAT composite score.

The board also approved an extension of UTC regional tuition rate program for undergraduates and graduate student for 2011-12. The program was first approved in 2007 and allows students in certain northern Georgia and Alabama counties to attend UTC on a discounted out-of-state tuition rate.

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Maplewood said...

For all the press that healthcare inflation gets, the inflation in higher education is far more unreasonable. With healthcare, at least there are new medicines, treatments, and procedures that can show verifiable increases in success. In education, the US continues to perform worse yet the education continues to cost more.

Beyond the increase in tuition, there are accompanying (and similarly steep) increases in fees, books, supplies, and housing. As more people rely on the government for assistance to go to school, fewer people can afford it on their own, which means even more people must get financial aid just to attend, let alone excel. While I'm sure that most people who advocate a college education for everyone mean well, the simple fact is that there is a limited supply of educators and facilities, and simply raising the price is one of the least fair ways to control that access.

I'm very glad to see that they have at least decided to increase the qualifications for freshmen in coming years, and I hope that will reduce some of this astronomical inflation in the future.

June 23, 2011 at 8:48 p.m.
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June 23, 2011 at 11:43 p.m.

Parents and students will have to be more creative in an attempt to obtain degrees from institutes of higher learning. An abundance of grants are available to those who deserve them. Not every high school graduate is a viable candidate for a college education.

June 24, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.
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