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Tennessee's Private Colleges and Universities Hold 2008-09 Tution and Fees Increase to Under Six Percent


Nashville, TN—Undergraduate students attending a private four-year college or university in Tennessee next year will continue to pay thousands of dollars less than students attending private four-year colleges in most other states, even though they will see a slight increase in tuition and fees according to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA).  Tuition and fees for 2008-09 will increase 5.85%, less than the increase in 2007-08.

“TICUA institutions remain committed to educational opportunity and choice,” said Dr. Nancy Moody, Chair of TICUA and President of Lincoln Memorial University. “We strive to provide financial aid that makes it possible for students to attend the college or university that best fits their individual needs.

According to TICUA, approximately 88% of first-time, full-time students attending private colleges and universities in the state receive some form of financial support. The 37 college and university members of TICUA provide over $318 million in grant aid to students attending private colleges. In 2007-08, students attending member institutions also benefited from more than $58.6 million in grant aid awarded by the State and over $43.5 million in Pell grant aid from the federal government.

“It is important to recognize that most every student attending TICUA member campuses receives some form of financial aid either from the state or federal government or directly from the institution,” said Dr. Claude Pressnell, President of TICUA. “When you combine institutional, state, and federal aid, the actual price paid by students can be substantially lower than the published price.”

For academic year 2008-09, the average published tuition and fees for undergraduate students attending a TICUA member private four-year institution in Tennessee will be about $18,000 per year. For the academic year 2007-08, students attending four-year private institutions in Tennessee paid 28% less than the national average of $22,218. After considering the contribution of financial aid, many students ultimately pay significantly less than these calculated averages.

As a result of their commitment to financial aid, TICUA institutions serve many low-income students. The median family income of Tennessee students attending private four-year colleges and universities is $7,400 less than those attending Tennessee’s four-year public colleges or universities, according to U.S. Department of Education’s National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS).  In addition, about one in four students attending TICUA institutions receive the federal Pell grant, which specifically targets low-income students.

Thousands of TICUA students have also benefited from the State’s education lottery program. In the 2007-08 academic year, nearly 9,500 students attending private colleges and universities participated in the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship award program, which provided more than $37.5 million in grant aid to students at private colleges and universities.  This scholarship program, based on academic performance, gives $4,000 per year to in-state students attending any four-year institution in the state of Tennessee. 

In fall 2007, TICUA member colleges and universities throughout the State enrolled more than 66,500 students.  TICUA membership includes 2 two-year colleges, 32 four-year colleges and universities, and 3 professional colleges.

TICUA engages Tennessee's private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the state and its citizens.  For more information about TICUA, please visit our website at www.ticua.org