2021-22 Undergraduate Tuition and Fee Increase Proposal

The Board of Trustees will consider a proposal to increase in-state tuition and mandatory fees at the June 8, 2021, meeting (this proposal is currently pending Finance and Personnel Committee recommendation).

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 end June 5 at 4:30 p.m. CDT.

  2020-21 Tuition & Fees Proposed 2021-22 Tuition & Fees Change New Revenue
Undergraduate In-State Tuition per semester based on 15 hours $3,777 $3,852 $75.00 1.99% $2,985,000
Mandatory Fees $935 $944 $9.00 0.96% $315,000
 Total Projected Revenue Growth    1.78% $3,300,000

Explanation for the Proposed Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase

Tuition, along with state appropriations, supports 94% of the education and general (E&G) operations of the university. The modest 1.99% increase proposed will help fund salary increases, scholarships, and inflationary costs associated with providing a quality education.  It also helps support new academic programs, many 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 are to support Parking Services (including Shuttle buses), Student Health Services, and student technology initiatives. The Executive Committee of the Student Government Association has 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 software and operations, scholarships, various new academic programs, and student success initiatives.

Parking Services and Health Services are auxiliary operations and are self-supporting units.  These increases cover inflationary costs of providing services to students, salaries and benefits for the staff, and any improvements to the facilities.

The technology access fee (TAF) is a per semester fee required by each student to help offset a portion of the technology related cost on campus.  The fee itself covers about $4.2M in technology related expenses annually.  The fee is used to supplement infrastructure costs and pay for classroom equipment, computer lab equipment, break/fix expenses, lab related software, etc.  Proposals submitted each year by deans, department chairs, faculty, and IT’s classroom design and support team are currently averaging slightly over $6.0 million annually, which this incremental increase in the fee will help address.

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 29, both chambers of the 112th General Assembly passed the 2021-22 General Appropriations Act, granting MTSU an increase of $1.0 million for outcomes productivity and $4.5 million to partially fund a four percent salary pool. 

The THEC binding tuition and mandatory fee increase for fiscal year 2021-22 is zero to two percent as approved at the May 20, 2021 Commission meeting.

Tuition and fee increases have been modest in recent years in an effort to make a degree attainable with minimal student debt.  Among the nine public state Universities, MTSU’s tuition is lower than UT Knoxville, the University of Memphis, Tennessee Technological University, UT Martin, and East Tennessee State University. The average financial aid award for undergraduate students is $10,587 with 78% of the students receiving some level of financial assistance.