“Nickel and dimed.”
That’s how one reader commented on our website in regard to a story about East Tennessee State University considering yet another hike to student fees. This time, as Press staff writer Nathan Baker reported Wednesday, a proposed $55 increase to the program service fee would help pay for $18 million in renovations to the D.P. Culp University Center.
If implemented, the fee hike will be the latest of many students have seen in recent years. The university approved a $25 parking fee increase per student per semester last year to help pay for a soon-to-be-opened 1,200-space parking garage on campus. Earlier this year, a $125 per student per semester athletics fee hike was levied to help resurrect the university’s football program.
As Baker noted in his story last week, the current service fee at ETSU is $672.50, which makes is the second highest among schools governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents universities. Only Middle Tennessee state University, with a $809 fee, is higher.
As we’ve said on this page many times before, Tennessee has reached a tipping point when it comes to the costs of earning a college degree. And while Tennessee isn’t obligated to provide a free college education to its residents, it should at least attempt to keep the cost of higher education affordable.
You can Sound off on this topic by telling us what you think of ETSU raising tuition fees to renovate the Culp Center.
Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. We will print your responses on Opinion pages in the coming weeks.