(THEC press release) For the first time in its history, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) has voted to ensure no tuition increases at the state’s public institutions for the upcoming academic school year. The vote reflects the Commission’s ongoing commitment to student affordability.
“Today’s vote is a huge win for Tennessee students and families”, said THEC executive director Emily House. “THEC has been laser-focused on student affordability, and THEC’s tuition setting policy plays a large role in our ability to ensure students can afford to go to college. The vote by the Commission today represents years of conversations and hard work to get to this point. We can’t thank Governor Lee and the General Assembly enough for helping to put us in a position to make this happen.”
THEC annually sets binding tuition and fee ranges for in-state undergraduate students at all public universities, community colleges, and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs). In setting these ranges, THEC considers affordability for students and families, enrollment patterns at colleges and universities, inflationary cost increases, and state investment in higher education. Once set, no public institution can exceed the ranges established by the Commission when setting their tuition and mandatory fees for the following academic year.
During the Spring 2022 quarterly meeting held on the campus of Tennessee Technological University, the Commission voted to set the 2022-2023 binding tuition range for the state’s public colleges and universities at zero to zero percent, allowing for no tuition increases for in-state undergraduate students for the upcoming year.
“Students are already facing higher prices for housing, groceries, and gas. Thanks to a generous investment from the state and today’s action from the Commission, we’re able to tell these students that they won’t be paying higher prices for tuition. That can be a source of relief for student checkbooks,” noted Commission Chairman Evan Cope.
The Commission was able to take this historic action thanks to a historic $90 million investment from the state into the Outcomes Based Funding (OBF) Formula, the funding mechanism for Tennessee’s public colleges and universities. Tennessee public colleges and universities will also receive over $47 million to fund the state’s share of a four percent state employee salary increase.