Students at Middle Tennessee State University will see a higher price tag next year, even though many urged the school not to raise costs.
The board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to increase undergraduate tuition and fees by a bit less than 2%. That means in-state students who take 15 hours of coursework will pay $168 more for classes and other campus amenities, like parking and health services.
Graduate students will pay 3% more in tuition next year. And students who live in campus housing will also see their rent go up anywhere from $8 to $76.
As required by Tennessee law, the board of trustees gave students two weeks to share their thoughts on the proposed increases before taking a vote. Student board member Delanie McDonald approved the tuition hike, even after reading through comments from classmates who raised concerns about it. But she said the university should have done more to inform students about why it was needed.
“I saw a lot of comments of students thinking this was going straight into certain administrators’ salary or into sports, things like that,” McDonald told board members. “And so I just think it’s really important that students should know that this is not an increase just for the university to be making money.”
MTSU budget documents show the additional revenue will pay for resources that would otherwise go unmet. It is slated to pay for things like staff salaries, scholarships and new academic programs. It will also cover faculty promotions.
President Sidney McPhee admitted that the university could have better explained those budget needs to students before deciding to raise tuition and fees.
“When I read a number of the comments, it’s like when you hear citizens’ response to raising taxes,” he said. “Everybody wants quality programs, they want better service, but if they don’t know exactly what’s happening, how those monies are used, you get comments like that.”
The president said he would definitely follow McDonald’s advice next time.