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Thu Nov 16, 2017, 12:00 PM

Tennessee college tuition hikes should be low this year, and officials want to keep that trend going

Tennessee higher education officials on Wednesday laid the groundwork for another year of low tuition increases and discussed a long-term plan to prevent severe tuition hikes in the future.

The higher education commission, which can limit tuition hikes at public colleges, plans to keep increases between zero and 3 percent for the next academic year. That would set the stage for the fourth straight year of unusually low increases.

That trend represents something of a reversal.

During and after the Great Recession, when state funding for higher education shrunk dramatically, many colleges used large tuition hikes to make up some of the difference, shifting a larger share of the cost burden to students and their families. Tuition for the 2011-12 academic year, for instance, jumped by 9.3 percent at Middle Tennessee State University and by 8 percent at Tennessee State and Austin Peay State universities.

In recent years, as the state economy recovered and funding returned, college officials have tried to keep tuition increases at or near historic lows. And officials want to keep that trend going.

Read more: http://www.dnj.com/story/news/education/2017/11/15/tennessee-college-tuition-hikes-2018-stress-test/866290001/

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