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The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees unanimously approved all agenda items on the second day of its annual meeting Friday afternoon, including a new degree program for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an increase in tuition and fees for the next school year.

On Thursday, UTC provost and senior vice chancellor Jerold Hale presented information about the degree, the bachelor of applied science in applied leadership, to the board's Education, Research and Service Committee. The program targets adult and nontraditional students with some college credits and work experience looking to complete a degree. The degree will be fully online and is ready to begin this fall, according to the committee's agenda.

Following approval from the Board of Trustees, the program requires approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Along with the new degree program, the board passed the 2021-22 operating budget. The budget raises tuition and fees by 2% for UTC students, the first tuition and fees increase since 2019.

The proposed 2% increase applies to the maintenance fee and mandatory fees paid by undergraduate and graduate students, such as the debt services fee.

The maintenance fee is the per-hour charge for a class, according to the UTC bursar's office FAQ page. New, in-state undergraduate students admitted after fall 2019 will pay $192 more than the previous year, while undergraduate students admitted prior to fall 2019 will pay $176 more than last year. For graduate students, the increase from last year is $204.

The debt service fee, increasing from $300 to $336, funds future capital projects, along with a 3% increase for on-campus housing and meal plan fees to cover operating costs.

Earlier this month, the Times Free Press reported that UTC's last tuition increase was 2.5% in 2019; an increase did not occur last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at achaturvedi@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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