“Tuition Transparency and Accountability Act” Passes Senate Floor; Conversation Expected to Continue in the House Next Week

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State Capitol Building

 

The “Tuition Transparency and Accountability Act,” SB1665 by Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville), as amended, passed unanimously this week on the Senate Floor and will be heard next Tuesday by the House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee. UT, along with other higher education stakeholders, have worked extensively on the amendment along with other higher education stakeholders.

As amended, the legislation would require all state universities to provide students, in their admission materials, a four-year, non-binding prediction of tuition and fee increases 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. THEC sets legally binding tuition ranges that colleges and universities must abide by, making the inclusion of these ranges critical for implementation. This provision is not currently included in the bill.

The bill is scheduled for Tuesday’s House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee meeting at 3:00 PM CT, which can be live-streamed here.

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