Johnson City

Tuition on the rise at ETSU

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A college degree may be valuable, but it could cost even more for students at ETSU -- tuition could be going up by almost 5 percent next fall.

Fall 2013 is going to be a semester of independence for Jason Headen, as he'll be paying for college all on his own. "This is the first semester I'm going to have to take out loans so that's a little bit scary," said Headen.

But he may have to dig deeper into his pocketbook. We learned the Business and Finance Committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents recently recommended a hike in tuition for next fall. "A 4.5 percent maintenance increase," said David Collins, Vice President of Finance at ETSU.

That money will pay for a combination of salary increases for state employees, utilities, and insurance. "This is actually one of the smaller ones we've had over the last few years. The state appropriations have continued to decline and of course maintenance fees have gone up," added Collins.

We learned ETSU was able to keep the increase lower simply because this year the governor helped by approving an operating increase, which was a first in almost 10 years.

What does a 4.5 percent increase look like? An in-state student taking 15 credit hours will be paying an additional $276 a year.

But there is a guaranteed increase next fall with the return of football. "What was approved previously in required fees, which included both football and another student and activity fee to help fund some extended library hours, was $270," added Collins.

That means students could be tackling a total increase of $546 a year.

Some students say the hike in tuition is understandable. "I feel like people have wanted football and this kind of involvement for awhile so I think people will be willing to sacrifice," said student Matthew Parker.

A final vote on this increase will be on June 21 by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

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