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Tennesseeís Private Colleges and Universities Plan Lowest Tuition and Fees Increase in Years - Hold to Under 5 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).  Average tuition and fees for 2009-10 will increase 4.89%, the lowest increase since 2003-04.


“TICUA institutions remain committed to educational opportunity and choice,” said Dr. Nancy Moody, Chair of TICUA and President of Tusculum College. “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 35 college and university members of TICUA provide over $380 million in grant aid to students attending private colleges. In 2007-08, students attending member institutions also benefited from more than $67.4 million in grant aid awarded by the State and over $52.1 million in Pell Grant aid from the federal government.


“It is important to recognize that most every student attending a TICUA member campus 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 2009-10, the average published tuition and fees for undergraduate students attending a TICUA member private four-year institution in Tennessee will be $19,000 per year. For the academic year 2008-09, average tuition at Tennessee’s private four-year institutions was $17,935 or almost 30% less than the national average of $25,143. 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, more than 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 2008-09 academic year, nearly 15,000 students attending private colleges and universities participated in the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship award program, which provided more than $47.9 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 2008, TICUA member colleges and universities throughout the State enrolled more than 68,000 students.  TICUA membership includes 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


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