12:18pm

Mon August 26, 2013
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Money Worries for Students and Administrators at Tennessee Colleges

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Money is a top concern for students and administrators as Tennessee’s colleges and universities get the fall semester underway.

Earlier this year, both of Tennessee’s higher education systems - University of Tennessee affiliated schools and the Tennessee Board of Regents - voted to increase student tuition for the school year. Students are paying up to six percent higher fees this semester.

Administrators go into the school year with money worries of their own. State legislators recently tied funding for Tennessee higher education to student outcomes, including graduation rates.

In his annual fall meeting with faculty on Friday, Middle Tennessee State President Sidney McPhee stressed the importance of helping students succeed. He noted it may be an uphill battle, given that this year’s Tennessee freshman class had the third worst ACT college entrance scores in the nation.

“They are our responsibility and we must discover and develop new innovative ways to help them become successful instead of whining about who they are. We need to take on that challenge, and ensure greater success among that group of students.”

A number of mid-state colleges and universities got classes underway last week. Tennessee State, Austin Peay State, Middle Tennessee State, and Tennessee Tech held their first full day of classes Monday. Trevecca Nazarene is the last local school to get its school year started, beginning classes Tuesday.