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College Tuition Set To Rise

By Meghan Pinkley
By mpinkley@wbbjtv.com

It is news that no parent or student wants to hear - the price to get a degree is going up in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is recommending a hike at all of its schools. This includes Jackson State Community College and the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus. The increases will take affect for the upcoming fall semester.

Jill Grantham said with a possible college tuition increase and recently losing her financial aid, she is unsure of how she will finish her degree. "They had sent me a letter in the mail saying I had lost it," she said. "It was paying for all my school, so now I don't have anything."

And Grantham is not the only one, many college students said the burden of tuition and student loans are becoming all too familiar. "It's just like what do you do? Continue or just be in debt?" added Grantham.

This week, the Tennessee Board of Regents unanimously recommended increases at its six universities, 13 community colleges and 27 technology centers. "The only think we don't like to do is raise tuition. It was a concern of the entire board, but it was a necessity, it had to be done," said board member, Jonas Kisber.

According to the board, Jackson State Community College is looking at a 4.3 percent increase, while the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus is facing a 7 percent hike for the fall 2012 semester.

The increase is said to be needed in order for institutions to meet their needs and be effective. Board members said as other costs go up, then unfortunately tuition has to rise as well.

Many students said the increase will affect them in some way. Whether enrolling in less classes, taking out more student loans, or getting a second job. "I feel sorry for the students today, I really do," said Kisber.

Kisber added that if the institutions show they can exist and cover expenses without raising tuition they could be exempt from the proposal, but none have pr oven that to be true.

The Board of Regents will meet June 28 and 29 to finalize increases for each school.
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