Undergraduate students attending Tusculum College or other private four-year colleges or universities in Tennessee next year will continue to pay thousands of dollars less than students attending private four-year colleges in most other states, even though they will see a slight increase in tuition and fees, according to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA). Average tuition and fees for 2009-10 will increase 4.89 percent, the lowest increase since 2003-04.
“TICUA institutions remain committed to educational opportunity and choice,” said Dr. Nancy Moody, chair of TICUA and president of Tusculum College. “We strive to provide financial aid that makes it possible for students to attend the college or university that best fits their individual needs.”
According to TICUA, approximately 88 percent of first-time, full-time students attending private colleges and universities in the state receive some form of financial support. The 35 college and university members of TICUA provide more than $380 million in grant aid to students attending private colleges. In 2007-08, students attending member institutions also benefited from more than $67.4 million in grant aid awarded by the state and more than $52.1 million in Pell Grant aid from the federal government.
Tusculum College awarded more than $30 million in federal, state and institutional financial aid to students for the 2008-09 academic year. This included more than $6 million of institutional aid.
“It is important to recognize that most every student attending a TICUA member campus receives some form of financial aid either from the state or federal government or directly from the institution,” said Dr. Claude Pressnell, president of TICUA. “When you combine institutional, state and federal aid, the actual price paid by students can be substantially lower than the published price.”
For academic year 2009-10, the average published tuition and fees for undergraduate students attending a TICUA member private four-year institution in Tennessee will be $19,000 per year. For the academic year 2008-09, average tuition at Tennessee’s private four-year institutions was $17,935 or almost 30 percent less than the national average of $25,143. After considering the contribution of financial aid, many students ultimately pay significantly less than these calculated averages.
As a result of their commitment to financial aid, Tusculum College and other TICUA institutions serve many low-income students. The median family income of Tennessee students attending private four-year colleges and universities is $7,400 less than those attending Tennessee’s four-year public colleges or universities, according to U.S. Department of Education’s National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. In addition, more than one in four students attending TICUA institutions receive the federal Pell Grant, which specifically targets low-income students.
Thousands of TICUA students have also benefited from Tennessee’s education lottery program. In the 2008-09 academic year, nearly 15,000 students attending private colleges and universities participated in the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship award program, which provided more than $47.9 million in grant aid to students at private colleges and universities. This scholarship program, based on academic performance, gives $4,000 per year to in-state students attending any four-year institution in the State of Tennessee.
In fall 2008, TICUA member colleges and universities throughout the state enrolled more than 68,000 students. TICUA membership includes 32 four-year colleges and universities and 3 professional colleges, including Tusculum College.
For more information on the financial aid programs at Tusculum College, contact Karen Chapman, director of financial aid at Tusculum College at 423-636-7300.
TICUA engages Tennessee’s private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment and professional development to better serve the state and its citizens.