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Tuition at Tennessee's Private Colleges and Universities to Increase 3.8%


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 modest increase in tuition and fees according to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA).  Average tuition and fees for 2011-12 will increase by 3.8%.  This is the lowest increase in more than 10 years. Campus leaders indicate that a range of factors are driving tuition increases including student aid, employee salary and benefits, implementation of federal regulations, and ensuring that facilities and programs meet the changing needs of students.


“TICUA institutions remain committed to educational opportunity and choice,” said Dr. Dan Boone, Chair of TICUA and President of Trevecca Nazarene University. “Although our institutions are affordable, we strive to provide financial aid that makes it possible for students to attend the college or university that best fits their individual needs.”


Approximately 89% of first-time, full-time students attending private colleges and universities in the State receive some form of financial support. The majority (72%) of this aid comes directly from the 34 college and university members of TICUA. The state of Tennessee provides another 17% and the federal government the remaining 11% of the aid.


“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, more typically, 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 2011-12, the average published tuition and fees, not including room and board, for undergraduate students attending a TICUA member private four-year institution in Tennessee will be $20,817per year. For the academic year 2010-11, average tuition at Tennessee’s private four-year institutions was $20,034 or almost 27% less than the national average of $27,293. 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. Historically, the median family income of Tennessee students attending private four-year colleges and universities is 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, nearly one in three students attending TICUA institutions receive the federal Pell Grant, which specifically targets low-income students. Of full-time, in-state undergraduates, 48% receive the Pell Grant.


Thousands of TICUA students also benefit from the State’s education lottery program. In the 2009-10 academic year, nearly 12,400 students attending private colleges and universities participated in the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship award program, which provided more than $55.4 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 2011, TICUA member colleges and universities throughout the State enrolled more than 75,000 students.  TICUA membership includes 31 four-year colleges and universities and 3 professional colleges.


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


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