published Thursday, June 20th, 2013

UT board of trustees OKs 6 percent tuition hike

Founders Hall stands at the front entrance of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Founders Hall stands at the front entrance of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
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The University of Tennessee System Board of Trustees approved a budget Thursday that includes a 6 percent tuition hike.

For an in-state student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, tuition will increase $343 — from $5,722 last fall to $6,065 this fall.

The board approved the same tuition hike for UT Knoxville and UT Martin. The money will support a 1.5 percent pay raise for faculty and staff, plus scholarships, academic promotions, student support services and Knoxville’s Top 25 implementation plan.

That plan aims to turn UT Knoxville into one of the 25 best public research universities in the country.

“This total funding balance — tuition, fees and state appropriations — for the three formula-funded campuses is what is needed to provide quality educational programs,” UT System President Joe DiPietro said in a news release.

This marks the sixth straight annual tuition increased at UTC and the second consecutive 6 percent jump. Overall, tuition has increased 44 percent between 2008-09 and the coming fall.

The UT system also is seeing more state funding for the second straight year. Universities will receive about $470 million in state appropriations for fiscal 2014, up 8.8 percent from the current year.

However, state appropriations still will be lower than in 2009. The state gave the system $475.5 million that year, but cut funding during the Great Recession.

The coming year will be the third which tuition is a larger share of funding than state appropriations — 48 percent from tuition, 40 percent from the state.

“We have a strong budget from the state,” DiPietro said, “and most numbers are better than in most years, although much of the increased state funding is earmarked for specific programs.”

Contact Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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