UT-Knoxville seeks 12 percent tuition increase - WSMV Channel 4

UT-Knoxville seeks 12 percent tuition increase

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The University of Tennessee is requesting the largest tuition increase in the state at its flagship Knoxville campus.

The university is requesting a 12 percent hike for its Knoxville campus and wants to increase tuition 9.9 percent at its campuses in Martin and Chattanooga.

"I feel like a 12 percent increase is a little ridiculous," said UT-Knoxville student Forbes Smallwood.

Jimmy Cheek, chancellor at the Knoxville campus, said the large increase is necessary in order to make UT one of the best universities in the country.

"We've got to increase tuition more than what we've been increasing it if we want to continue to maintain the quality we have," said Cheek.

The increase equates to an extra $774 per year students will have to pay for classes.

The Tennessee Board of Regents announced last week that it planned to ask for tuition increases ranging between 8 and 11 percent for its campuses, which include Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.

State cuts and a loss of stimulus money are behind the rising cost of tuition. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said it is important the universities are doing everything to keep costs down.

"The middle income families are the ones where kids are working and taking loans and we're about to price them out of it right when we need to increase the percentage of students with a degree," said Haslam.

University officials told The Knoxville News Sentinel that it also wants to create a salary pool for faculty and create a fund aimed at making UT a Top 25 school. Officials also want a $100 per semester hike in student fees at the main campus.

UT President Joe DiPietro said he's hopeful the board will grant the funding requests.

The Tennessee Board of Regents will meet June 23 and 24 at Nashville State Community College to consider the request. The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees will meet June 22 and 23 in Knoxville.

Contributing: Associated Press

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