Board to consider UTC request for 3% increase in tuition, fees

A sign for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga / Staff file photo

NASHVILLE — University of Tennessee at Chattanooga officials are seeking a 3% boost in tuition and mandatory fees from the UT System's Board of Trustees for the 2023-24 academic year.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville is requesting an increase as well, albeit a lower percentage increase of 1.8%.

The Board of Trustees will consider the requests for both universities as well as the UT Health Science Center in Memphis and the University of Tennessee Southern in Pulaski during the meeting set for June 30 in Memphis.

UTC is asking for a $296 increase for the academic year. If approved, it would bring annual tuition from the current $9,848 to $10,144, according to a UT System summary.

The projected growth from state appropriations and other funding sources won't provide "sufficient funding" to respond to a significant rise in inflation and also will not fully fund UTC's fiscal year 2024 salary pool, UTC officials said in their explanation to the board for the requested tuition hike.

(READ MORE: UTC nursing school ranked best in the state)

Describing the increase in tuition and fees as modest, UTC officials said most of the additional dollars would be used for employee compensation, general operating inflation, increased cost of facilities operations, maintenance and repairs as well as debt service, instruction, student mental health services, academic programs and institutional support activities.

Tuition and fee increases have been modest in recent years, including no increases in fiscal years 2019, 2021 and 2023, UTC officials said.

"Over the previous five fiscal years, the average tuition and fee increase is 0.9%," according to UTC.

In its request for proposed increases in tuition and mandatory fees, the system's flagship university in Knoxville said the changes would add $196 to the facilities fee and $44 to the transportation fee.

The $240 increase would take tuition and fees from $13,244 to $13,484.

(READ MORE: Study finds Tennessee children have a 1 in 8 chance of being abused, costing $3.3 billion a year)

The university said enrollments have increased 27.9% since the fees were last raised. The facilities fee increase would provide revenue to support deferred maintenance for existing campus buildings and to supplement the rising costs of construction of new buildings. The transportation fee increase is to cover costs associated with a new contract with the current transit provider, university officials said.

UT said it makes "every reasonable effort" to mitigate the effect of tuition and fee increases on students. The university described increases as modest in recent years. From fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2023, the average annual tuition and mandatory fee increases for in-state undergraduate students was zero, which the university said is well below the limits allowed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Officials also noted the most recent average annual Higher Education Price Index was 5.2%.

"Finally, 93% of entering first-year students receive some form of scholarship, grant, discount or waiver to offset part or all of the cost of attendance," UT added.

(READ MORE: Tennessee regents approve no-tuition-increase budgets for community, technical colleges)

The UT Health Science Center in Memphis is seeking 1.5% increases to tuition and mandatory fees. For example, an in-state student in the dental hygiene Bachelor of Science program would see tuition and fees change from $9,988 to $10,138, a $150 increase. An in-state Bachelor of Science Nursing student's tuition and fees would rise from $12,705 to $12,896, also a 1.5% increase raising tuition by $191.

Officials at the University of Tennessee Southern, a former private college in Pulaski that became part of the UT system in 2021, are also seeking increases in undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees.

The university is seeking a 3% increase, which if approved, would raise in-state undergraduate fees by $306 from $10,200 to $10,506.

Contact Andy Sher at or 615-285-9480.