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Students at Cleveland State and Chattanooga State community colleges may face another round of tuition increases this fall, state officials say.

While a final number is undetermined, officials have told the colleges to work their budgets around a 5 percent increase.

Some students already say they have gotten used to the sticker price for their classes continuing to rise.

"This is a holding pattern we have been in for several years," said Matt Nassar, a 23-year-old biology student at Chattanooga State Community College. "I think it is obviously a result of the economic distress."

On Thursday, the Tennessee Board of Regents, which oversees the state's two-year schools, approved a laundry list of fee increases for community colleges and universities at its spring meeting in Nashville. Included in the batch was a 5 percent tuition increase in budget planning documents.

The board will vote on the final tuition recommendations during its June meeting.

"(A tuition increase) represents the cost of doing business," said Jeff Olingy, a spokesman for Chattanooga State. "We want to be in a position to provide the best education possible. Fees are an important part of the revenue stream."

COLLEGE TUITION JUMP

Chattanooga State

Current annual tuition -- $2,664

Current other fees -- $291

Projected tuition increase -- $133

Total projected cost in 2010 -- $3,092

Cleveland State

Current annual tuition -- $2,664

Current other fees -- $269

Projected tuition increase -- $133

Total projected cost in 2010 -- $3,066

Source: Tennessee Board of Regents

College fees have been climbing for several years as state support for higher education has fallen. Last year, base tuition costs at Chattanooga State increased from $2,797 to $2,955. Cleveland State tuition increased from $2,769 to $2,933, records show.

With new projected increases, the cost at Chattanooga State this fall could be $3,092 and at Cleveland State it could be $3,066.

In addition to increasing the base cost of tuition, many schools also are looking at upping fees for student services. Facing rising costs of software, Cleveland State plans to increase its math courses fee from $75 to $93.50, officials said.

Chattanooga State has asked to set an electronic book fee for the campus to begin offering e-books online for students at a cheaper rate than traditional textbooks. School officials said they have not determined what the fee would be.

"Most, if not all the colleges, are looking at e-books," Mr. Olingy said. "If utilized currently, they could be less expensive for the students."

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

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Article: Chattanooga State to get dorms

Article: Colleges adjusting to budget cuts

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