Determinants of tuition increases at Tennessee Board of Regents colleges and universities

John M Rudley, Tennessee State University


Trends and determinants affecting increases in college tuition and other costs are examined through an analysis of data from six universities within the Tennessee Board of Regents System. The timeframe for the study includes the fiscal years 1985–86 through 1998–99. Sources and uses of funds from state appropriations and student tuition are compared by reviewing actual financial statements from The University of Memphis, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, and Austin Peay State University. The public has asked why tuition increases have exceeded inflation. As a consequence of public inquiry, this study documents the area of need for increased tuition support and in general provides an explanation of the funded cost areas within public post secondary education. This research responds to the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education report, Straight Talk About College Costs and Prices, which recommends that college officials provide more detailed information to justify tuition increases. Over the past 15 years, these costs have exceeded the Consumer Price Index by 225 percent. Relationships between the need for increased revenue and changes in funded functional cost categories are reviewed in this case study. These categories include instruction, research, public service, academic support, institutional support, student services, maintenance and operation of the physical plant, and scholarships and fellowships.

Subject Area

School finance|School administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

John M Rudley, "Determinants of tuition increases at Tennessee Board of Regents colleges and universities" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007570.