Students will not face a tuition or fee increase at Tennessee’s public community and technical colleges for the upcoming academic year after the Tennessee Board of Regents voted Friday to keep rates stable for the second time in three years.
In addition, the Board suspended campus-specific online course fees for the second consecutive year, saving students about $2.6 million collectively in the upcoming year and removing a financial barrier for students taking online courses through their colleges. The Board of Regents, which governs the state’s public community colleges and colleges of applied technology, held its June quarterly meeting Thursday and Friday, hosted by Columbia State Community College.
TBR staff said that the major increase in state funding for public higher education approved this year, extended federal pandemic funding for another year, and savings and efficiencies achieved by the colleges enabled the Board to keep tuition and fees stable for another year despite rising inflation.
“We’re grateful to Governor Lee and members of the Tennessee General Assembly for supporting Tennessee students and their families with a historic increase in state funding for higher education. The Board’s approval today to keep tuition and fees unchanged for another year is a direct result of that, the continued federal assistance, and the hard work by our colleges to hold costs down,” said Chancellor Flora W. Tydings.
Two years ago, the Board of Regents also voted no increase in tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year in recognition of the challenges facing students during the pandemic, which kept rates stable from July 2019 through June 2021. Last year, the Board approved the smallest tuition increase, 1.83 percent, in 30 years at the community colleges for the 2021-22 academic year now ending – but did not raise any other mandatory fees and suspended the campus-specific online course fee for the year. It extended that suspension through June 2023.
With Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other state and federal financial aid programs, eligible students may attend the state’s public community and technical colleges free of tuition and mandatory fees. Tennessee Promise is for new high school graduates; Reconnect is for independent adults who have not already earned college degrees or other college-level credentials.