UT Trustees Approve Budget, Tuition and Student Aid

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees today approved a $1.4 billion FY 2005-06 budget that includes varying student tuition increases to fund programs designed to enhance student success, expand research efforts and increase need-based aid to freshmen on the Knoxville campus.

During the board’s annual meeting, UT President John Petersen detailed information about state funding levels that do not cover rising costs. He also described needs associated with growing enrollments, particularly on the Knoxville campus, due in large part to the state’s HOPE lottery scholarship.

“Given the needs and the available resources – and despite cost cutting measures at all campuses – we have no choice but to seek tuition and fees increases to maintain the quality of education our students deserve and demand,” Petersen said. “Obviously, the struggle to maintain quality in the face of flat state appropriations and inflation has created concern among our constituencies. The challenge is to balance the funding equation for providing quality programs with the cost to our students.”

This year state funds comprise 50 percent of UT’s revenue, with tuition and fees providing 33 percent of total budget. In 1996, state funds comprised 62.6 percent, with tuition providing 21 percent of the university’s revenue.

The board set tuition and fee increases based on needs and costs at the individual campuses. Tuition is only part of a student’s expenses, which also include program, technology, facilities and transportation fees. Out-of-state students also pay an additional tuition fee.

The budget includes:

– An increase in tuition and fees at UT Knoxville of $542 per student, an increase in tuition of 13 percent. Total student academic fees will increase 11.4 percent for in-state students. The total student cost for a Knoxville student living on campus increases by 7.7 percent or about $754.

UT estimates that 690 students, or 16 percent of the freshman class, qualify for the new additional aid, which holds in-state students harmless from the increase. Students of families with an adjusted gross income of less than $27,000 will qualify. UT Knoxville appropriated $770,000 for this offering.

– An increase in tuition and fees at UT Chattanooga of $407, an increase in tuition of 9.3 tuition percent. Total student academic fees will increase by 9.9 percent for in-state students, due to the approval of a $50 per semester athletic fee. Total student fees for in-state students who live on campus will increase by 9.7 percent.

– An increase in tuition and fees at UT Martin of $342, an increase in tuition of 9.7 percent. Student academic fees would increase by 8.2 for percent for in-state students and 5.5 percent overall for those who purchase room and board.

“The equation includes substantial cost cuts at all our campuses as well as holding off on implementing a number of important programs,” Petersen said.

Among the cuts are $19.3 million on the Knoxville campus over the past four years, including the consolidation of two colleges. A recent reorganization cut more than $250,000 from Knoxville-s administrative costs in the 2005-06 budget.

UT Martin will save over $250,000 in utility costs through a new agreement with its power providers. UT also has looked to additional revenue sources by selling surplus property and forming partnerships with the state board of regents for purchasing and printing.

Petersen told board members today that the university will further refine the strategic budgeting process.

“Longer term, we are committed to a process that readily shares information with the board and with the legislature as early as possible so that together, we can find the best ways to meet the needs of our students and our state,” Petersen said.

A more detailed summary of campus tuition and fee information is available at http://www.tennessee.edu.