By: Brad Bacon
CHATTANOOGA(UTC/The Loop)–Students should expect a seven to nine percent tuition increase to compensate for stimulus funding the university will no longer be receiving.
First reported by The University Echo, a final decision on the exact tuition percent increase will be reached during the summer months by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Governor Bill Haslam must also approve the changes.
According to Chuck Cantrell, assistant vice chancellor of university relations, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission has recommended a state wide seven percent increase, but the commission has also said that if any specific university thinks they will need more to prepare and bring a case to the commission.
“If I were guessing, I would say tuition would end up increasing seven to nine percent,” Cantrell said. “We really do try to keep it under 10 percent.”
Dr. Roger Brown, vice chancellor for finance and operations, has been presenting a tentative budget to various student and faculty organizations across campus. In his presentation, Brown presents challenges, changes, and opportunities.
Along with the proposed tuition spike, students should also expect an increase in parking. Cantrell also said parking decals haven’t increased in price in several years. According to Cantrell, general parking decals will increase by $16 a year, and reserved passes will increase by $32 a year. With the increases in tuition and fees and parking decal increases most student are worried about money.
“I never like to hear that tuition will be increasing,” Tyler Brown, a sophomore from Cumberland Heights, Tenn., said. “To hear I will be paying more for tuition and parking, that’s a double shot of bad news.”
Cantrell said understands why students are upset at the proposed increases all over campus due to lack of stimulus money.
“There is this idea, somehow, that the administration is unconcerned about the charges that students have to pay, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Cantrell said. “We are very aware that the students and their families are facing financial hardships. The economy is not great. As an institution, part of our mission is to be accessible and we realize that you can price yourself out of accessibility.”
For more information on the proposed budget and tuition increase be sure to visit utcecho.com.