Tuition Transparency and Accountability Act Passes Senate Education Committee 

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Balance Sheet

 

The “Tuition Transparency and Accountability Act,” SB1665 by Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville), was heard this week in the Senate Education Committee and passed unanimously to the Senate Calendar Committee.

The UT Government Relations team worked with the sponsor and other public higher education institutions on an amendment that accomplishes the sponsor’s objective of providing admitted students with additional tools to help plan and make informed financial decisions about college.

As amended, the legislation would require all state universities to provide admitted students with a four-year, non-binding prediction of tuition and fees to assist in their future financial planning and help inform final decisions on college selection. The legislation would also require universities to give public notice of proposed tuition and mandatory fee increases at least 15 days prior to holding a vote, set forth factors to determine what justifies a tuition increase, and provide a report to the office of legislative budget analysis each year with information regarding how revenues from tuition and fee increases were spent.

There has been significant debate on whether the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) should be required to provide state universities with estimated tuition and fee increase ranges to aid in the process of calculating their four-year predictions. This provision is not currently included in the bill and is opposed by THEC.  Including the provision, however, would provide needed assistance to Tennessee’s public universities in implementing provisions of the bill.

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