2019-20 Undergraduate Tuition and Fee Increase Proposal

The MTSU Board of Trustees will consider a proposal to increase undergraduate in-state tuition and mandatory fees at the June 18, 2019 meeting. 

Tennessee law (Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-7-1603) requires boards of public universities to give public notice of proposed increases to tuition and mandatory fees charged to in-state undergraduate students at least fifteen (15) days prior to holding a public meeting to adopt the increases.  Individuals are permitted to provide comments during the fifteen-day period.

The public comment period will run from May 30 to June 13 at 4:30 p.m. CDT.

  2018-19 Tuition & Fees Proposed 2019-20 Tuition & Fees Change New Revenue
Undergraduate In-State Tuition per semester based on 15 hours $3,690 $3,777 $87.00 2.36% $3,611,500
Mandatory Fees $913 $935 $22.00 2.41% $770,000
 Total Projected Revenue Growth    $3,870,000

Explanation for the Proposed Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase

Tuition, along with state appropriations, supports 93% of the costs of education and general operations of the University. The 2.36% proposed increase will help fund salary increases and cover inflationary costs associated with providing a quality education.  It will also help support new academic programs, several student success initiatives and experiential learning opportunities for students.

Mandatory fees support a variety of student services and operational functions provided by the University.  The proposed increases relate to fees to support the following areas: Parking Services (including shuttle buses), the Campus Recreation Center, Student Health Services, and Athletics. On November 28, 2018, the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association met and approved the proposed mandatory fee increases.

Purposes for Which Revenue Derived from the Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase Will be Used

The proposed tuition increase will fund faculty and staff salary increases, inflationary cost increases for supplies and operations, scholarships, and various new academic programs, student success initiatives and experiential learning opportunities for students.

Parking Services, Campus Recreation, and Health Services are auxiliary operations and are self-supporting units.  The proposed increase in mandatory fees will cover inflationary costs of providing services to students for these operations, salaries and benefits for the staff, and any improvements to the facilities.

The proposed Athletics increase will support future capital projects. A $30 increase was approved in fiscal year 2017-18 as a two-year phased-in fee. This is the second year.

Efforts to Mitigate the Effect of the Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase on Students

On December 11, 2018, the Board of Trustees approved the following factors for consideration when increases in tuition and mandatory fees are proposed:

  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) binding tuition and mandatory fee increase ranges;
  • Level of state support;
  • Total cost of attendance (which includes tuition cost, mandatory fees, room and board, books, and other educational expenses);
  • Efforts to mitigate the financial effect on students; and
  • Other factors deemed appropriate by the University such as enrollment goals, market factors, new facility costs, new program costs, and costs related to general campus operations.

On April 30, both chambers of the 111th General Assembly passed the 2019-20 General Appropriations Act, granting MTSU an increase of $3.8 million for outcomes productivity.  The Governor’s Budget allows the operating appropriation received to be used for partially funding salary increases and/or operational expenditures at the discretion of the institution.

The THEC binding tuition and mandatory fee increase for fiscal year 2019-20 is zero to two and a half percent as approved at the May 17, 2019, THEC meeting.

Tuition and mandatory fee increases have been modest in recent years in an effort to make a degree attainable with minimal student debt. Among 50 peer institutions, MTSU’s in-state tuition rate ranks 35th. Among the nine state Universities, MTSU’s tuition remains the lowest among the three largest institutions. The average financial aid award at MTSU for undergraduate students is $10,830, with 77% of the students receiving some level of financial assistance.  Over 70% of our incoming freshmen receive the Hope Scholarship.



A transcript of all comments will be provided to the MTSU Board of Trustees at their meeting on June 18, 2019.