JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - College students could be faced with paying more for classes come August if the Tennessee Board of Regents passes tuition increase recommendations.
Since the 2001-2002 school year, when it cost just $4,795.50 for one year of higher education, tuition has climbed between 1 and 14 percent every year. Tuition for the 2013-2014 school year totaled $11.280.50, a difference of $6,485 over the last decade.
Some students says the rising cost of school is worth it. "It will add some type of hectic environment for my family and I, but in order to get my career off the ground and to study what I want to study, if tuition is going to increase by $221 dollars a semester, it's not going to be a problem," said Andre Majors, who is studying Finance at East Tennessee State University.
Renee Walden, a junior studying Fashion Merchandising and Business at ETSU, agrees. "You'll be able to have a better-paying job going to college. It's just in the moment its really really difficult to get through," said Walden.
It may be worth it, but if the Tennessee Board of Regents approves ETSU's proposed 6.9 percent increase -- about $221 a semester -- many students will be scrambling to cover the increase. "I'm already working two jobs to help put myself through college. I'm working almost every day this summer trying to save up my money." Walden told News 5.
East Tennessee State University Spokesman Joe Smith said another bump in tuition is just the cost of doing business. "There has been inflation costs that have also come into place as well, and these increases have been necessary to continue to support education," said Smith.
Smith added that money coming from the State isn't what it used to be. "We've had to unfortunately shift some of the cost for education to the backs of students," said Smith. "We're still very affordable, and again, if you look in comparison to other schools, we are about in the middle."
The proposed increase would still force students like Renee to scramble to make ends meet. "An extra $400 is really going to be really hard," said Walden.
The Tennessee Board of Regents is set to vote on the proposed increases Thursday. Community colleges could see a 5.8 percent increase, with technical schools at 8.5 percent.
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