Slight tuition, fee increases to be voted on by Tennessee Board of Regents

The Tennessee Board of Regents, which governs Tennessee’s 13 community colleges and 27 TCATs, will meet June 17-18, with committees meeting Thursday, June 17, and the full board on Friday, June 18. All the meetings are open and will be conducted virtually via Microsoft Teams teleconferencing and will also be live streamed and archived on the TBR website at tbr.edu/board/june-2021-quarterly-meeting. Anyone wishing access to the Teams meeting itself may contact Board Secretary Sonja Mason at sonja.mason@tbr.edu or 615-366-3927.

At its quarterly meeting June 18, the Tennessee Board of Regents will consider tuition and fee increases averaging 1.83 to 1.87 at the state’s community and technical colleges – equating to $24 per trimester at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and $42 to $45 per semester at the community colleges.

The proposed increases were recommended by the Board’s Finance and Business Operations Committee after reviewing cost increases the colleges are facing. Tuition and fees were not increased last year, meaning that rates have been stable for two academic years. The proposed increases fall within the 0 to 2 percent range approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission last month.

Many students are able to attend free of tuition and mandatory fees through the Tennessee Promise scholarship programs and other federal and state financial aid. Tennessee Promise is for new high school graduates and Reconnect is for adults without a college degree or credential.

The Board will also consider suspending campus online-course fees for the next year at the seven community colleges assessing them, saving students a total of $2.6 million. Those fees vary, ranging from $10 per credit hour to 25 percent of tuition. The other six community colleges do not assess them. The Board plans to review the online course fees during the next year while they are suspended.

The June 17 committee meetings will begin at 9:00 AM and run consecutively in this order: External Affairs Committee, Finance and Business Operations Committee, Workforce Development Committee, Personnel and Compensation Committee, and Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee.

The June 18 Board meeting will start at 9:30 AM.

The complete committee and board agendas and supporting materials and reports, including a detailed presentation on the tuition and fee proposals, are posted on the TBR website here: tbr.edu/board/june-2021-quarterly-meeting.

At the TCATs, the proposed tuition increases would total $72 per academic year (three trimesters), a 1.83 percent increase. No increases in mandatory fees (fees paid by all students enrolled at a college) are proposed at the TCATs. If the increase is approved, tuition and mandatory fees for three trimesters would total $4,008 at the TCATs.

At the community colleges, for students taking full 15-credit hours per semester, the proposed tuition increase would total $84 per academic year (two semesters), an increase that ranges from 1.83 to 1.85 percent on tuition. The only additional mandatory fee increases proposed are at two community colleges: a $3.00 per student per semester increase at Nashville State and Pellissippi State Community Colleges. Both proposals were approved by students in campus referendums to fund student activities. Combined tuition and mandatory fee increases would total 1.96 percent at Pellissippi and 2 percent at Nashville State.

If approved, combined tuition and mandatory fees at the community colleges would range from $4,594 to $4,680 per academic year.