Tennessee college students can expect to pay more for tuition next fall, but the increase for state universities could be less than it has been in recent years.
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission recommended a 3 percent increase for community colleges and a 6 percent increase for public universities.
The increase is significantly lower than in 2004 when tuition went up a whopping 18.4 percent for community colleges and 13.4 percent for universities when state appropriations went down.
"Saving for college is probably the most expensive thing we do as students or parents aside from saving for retirement," said Amy Boles-Wood, director of financial aid at Tennessee State University.
Right now, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville has the highest in-state tuition at about $4,500 per semester, while TSU is the least expensive at about $3,300 per semester.
Boles-Wood said there are some important ways students can receive financial aid.
"They may be eligible for Pell grants or student loans that help to finance," she said.
Also, the federal student aid form FAFSA becomes available online in January, and for eligible students, it can mean free money on a first-come, first-served basis.
There is also some hope for those students who applied late for college. Check with your school's financial aid office to find funds and discuss the best way to pay.
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