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Haslam keeps state tuition low

Pacer Writer

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 13:02

Jan. 30 is the day in which Tennessee’s Governor, Bill Haslam, gave his State of the State speech.

Among the items of his assessment, education was brought up. His main area of emphasis was in the K-12 groups.

However, he did talk about higher education, which means changes for colleges and universities.

Haslam announced a new initiative to push the rate of college degrees (including Associate’s) to 55 percent of state residents by 2025. He pointed to the state’s change in funding to be not by enrollment, but by graduating students.

By putting state college funding on a firmer footing, he said the state has kept tuition increases to no more than 6 percent at four-year schools.

Tuition prices have been an area of change the last few years. However, Governor Haslam has been able to keep price raises at a minimum.  The state has kept tuition raises at no more than 6 percent.

Another thing that will help keep the raises low in the future is the continuation of funding to schools by the graduation rate. There are many schools like UT Knoxville and MTSU that have students attend for a year or two, but transfer. In other words, those schools are getting funding for a student who does not receive his or her degree from that school.

Schools like UTK and MTSU have almost four times the number of students that UTM has.  UTM has a lower transfer-out rate than other schools in the area. However, larger schools have more students, thus increasing the graduation rate.

Haslam, who comes from a business background, has been able to keep what he promises. He has shown in previous years that he has kept the tuition raises lower than the national average.  

According to USA Today’s survey “Average cost of four, -year universiy up 15%”, the national average tuition increase has been around 15 percent.

Tennessee has been one of the states that has kept increases as low as possible. While the economy is stagnant, many states’ tuition increases have been more than the 6 percent that Tennesseans are getting.

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