TN college tuition increase might cost some an education - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

TN college tuition increase might cost some an education

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The good news, there are no plans for the University of Memphis to raise tuition next year. But the talk of a statewide raise from the Tenn. Board of Regents is certainly getting students' attention.

Two classmates, two different stories, but the same concern. The rising cost of education has always been a struggle for Paula Peyton and Chrystal Turner.

"Right now I'm paying about $1,000 out of pocket every semester,", said Peyton. "You can't get a job without the degree, you can't pay for the degree without the job."

Both are students at the University of Memphis, they do all they can to pay for school.

"I grew up on food stamps. I had state insurance. So I do rely heavily on loans for school," noted Peyton.

Loans, grants, and scholarships are not always enough. They both pay out-of-pocket expenses each semester, which is why talks of raising in state tuition anywhere from two to eight percent is troubling.

"It just makes that divide even more profound," said Turner.

She is talking about the poverty and class divide created by the rising cost of college education.

This week the TBR projected a raise in tuition starting in August. Though the numbers are not set in stone, they say it is a result of Governor Bill Haslam's budget proposal to fully fund the performance outcomes based formula for higher education.

"They're not really doing anything to make it easier for anybody. They're just kind of moving it around to look good," said Peyton.

With as much as two years left of college, both Peyton and Turner hope tuition costs do not turn their peers away from higher education.

"We are very committed to getting degrees and are doing the best that we can to that. But at some point we need help or at the very least we don't need to be pushed down anymore," added Peyton.

The governor's budget will not be approved until March or April. That is when officials will know for certain if an increase will occur.

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