2021-22 Undergraduate Tuition and Fee Increase Proposal

The University of Memphis Board of Trustees will consider a proposal to increase undergraduate in-state tuition at the June 2, 2021 meeting.

Tennessee law (Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-7-1603) requires boards of public universities to give public notice of proposed increases to tuition and mandatory fees charged to in-state undergraduate students at least fifteen (15) days prior to holding a public meeting to adopt the increases. Individuals are permitted to provide comments during the fifteen-day period.

The public comment period will run from May 18 to June 1 at 12:00 p.m. CDT.

2021-22 Undergraduate Tuition and Fee Increase Proposal

Explanation for the Proposed Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase

Tuition, along with state appropriations, supports 84% of the costs of education and general operations of the University. The 1.75% proposed increase will not result in net revenue growth for the University as along with the tuition increase, the University will be eliminating the $50 per credit hour Online course. This action will also allow the University to complete its efforts to simplify the fee structure and to move to flat per credit hour fee structure. This is the final year of the phased elimination of the fee as originally approved by the Board of Trustees in 2019.

Mandatory fees support a variety of student services and operational functions provided by the University. There is no proposed mandatory fee increase at this time.

Purposes for Which Revenue Derived from the Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase Will be Used

As noted above, the proposed tuition increase will not result in net revenue growth for the University as its purpose is to eliminate the remaining $50 per student credit hour online fee. With a majority of our students moving to taking a hybrid of traditional and online courses, the demand for online courses has been on a steady rise. This was particularly evident during the course of the last year as we navigated through the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how we met the needs of our students by delivering more courses in a hybrid or online format. The elimination of the Online Fee will further simplify the student fee structure and increase accessibility of traditional and online courses to all students.

Efforts to Mitigate the Effect of the Tuition and Mandatory Fee Increase on Students

The following factors are considered when increases in tuition and mandatory fees are proposed:

  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) binding tuition and mandatory fee increase ranges.
  • Level of state support.
  • Total cost of attendance (which includes tuition cost, mandatory fees, room and board, books, and other educational expenses)
  • Efforts to mitigate the financial effect on students; and
  • Other factors deemed appropriate by the University such as enrollment goals, market factors, new facility costs, new program costs, and costs related to general campus operations.

On April 29, 2021 both chambers of the 111th General Assembly passed the 2021-22 General Appropriations Act, granting UofM an increase of $3.4M million for outcomes productivity. The Governor’s Budget allows the operating appropriation received to be used for partially funding salary increases and/or operational expenditures at the discretion of the institution.

The proposed THEC binding tuition and mandatory fee increase for fiscal year 2021-22 is zero to two percent as proposed at the November 6, 2020, THEC meeting. THEC will take formal action on their proposed binding limits at their May 20, 2021 meeting; it is anticipated that their range will remain as originally presented.

The University has taken numerous steps over the past several years to contain costs and to keep tuition as low as possible. This resulted in the UofM having the lowest average tuition increase in State of Tennessee of 1.5% over the past 7 years, including a 0% tuition increase in 3 of the past 7 years. The average financial aid award at UofM for undergraduate students is $6,536, with 88% of the students receiving some level of financial assistance.

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A transcript of all comments will be provided to the UofM Board of Trustees at their meeting on June 2, 2021.

Public Notice – University of Memphis Guaranteed
Tuition Plan & Uniform Tuition Rate
Board of Trustees Meeting: March 6, 2019

Please note: This is a re-posting of this notice. The original posting was published on November 20, 2018.

In our continued efforts toward addressing impediments to access and affordability for all students, the University of Memphis is proposing enhancements to our tuition structure. To promote transparency in this process and provide an opportunity for comments, we are communicating the details of the proposals in advance of the March 6 Board of Trustees meeting and providing an opportunity for the campus community to provide feedback.

As you will recall at our December 2018 Board of Trustees meeting, our Trustees reviewed our proposal on implementation of a Guaranteed Tuition Rate and moving to a Uniform Tuition Rate for traditional and online course offerings. At that meeting the Board of Trustees approved the implementation of a guaranteed tuition plan and conditionally approved the Uniform Tuition Rate proposal subject to a final recommendation for the Board's consideration and approval at the March 2019 Board meeting. During the upcoming March 6, 2019 Board meeting, we will discuss the proposed guaranteed and uniform tuition rates for 2019-2020.

Plan Details – Guaranteed Tuition Plan

Implement a Guaranteed Tuition Plan for undergraduate first-time, first-year students beginning in fall 2019.

  • This plan would be applied to all first-time, first-year undergraduate resident, non-resident, international, and UofM Global students.
  • For fall 2019, the Guaranteed Tuition Plan will be calculated based on the tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year and adjusted by an inflation factor approved by the Board of Trustees.
    • We propose 2.38% as the initial tuition increase for the 2019-2020 academic year guaranteed tuition rate.
  • Incoming first-time, first-year undergraduate students will default to the guaranteed rate plan and are locked into the guaranteed rate for eight (8) consecutive semesters but may opt-out to the variable rate plan.
  • A new guaranteed tuition rate will be established for each fall cohort of new first-time, first-year undergraduate students: resident, non-resident, international, and UofM Global.
  • The new cohort rate will be available for eight (8) consecutive regular semesters for the undergraduate first-time, first-year students of each ensuing fall semester.

Please note: The Guaranteed Tuition Plan covers tuition only. It does not include costs associated with online course fees, mandatory fees, non-mandatory fees, non-academic fees (housing, meal plans, parking permits, etc.).

Proposed Tuition Rates

Proposed Tuition Rates

Benefits of the plan:

  • Allows students and their families to budget earlier and more effectively for educational expenses.
  • Provides stable tuition expenses from year-to-year.
  • Encourages timely degree completion given the financial incentive of an overall lower cost.

Plan Details – Uniform Tuition Rate

Restructure resident tuition rates with a cap on credit hours that are assessed tuition and move to a uniform tuition rate for traditional and online courses.

  • When the online tuition/fee structure was first implemented, it was modeled after the TN eCampus (formerly RODP)/TNeCampus structure. Tuition/fees for all online courses are assessed separately from the traditional courses.
  • Currently, undergraduate resident students taking a blend of traditional and online courses are not able to take advantage of the 80% discount rate offered for traditional courses over the 12 hour cap.
  • Since fall 2015, we have seen a 59% increase in blended credit hours from students taking traditional and online courses. Based on the trend, it is expected this population will continue to grow which will inevitably increase our dependence on this tuition revenue stream.

Proposal to rectify this issue and further simplify our tuition structure:

  • Set undergraduate per credit hour tuition assessment cap at 12 hours for traditional and online credit hours for residents. Credit hours above 12 are free of charge.
  • Graduate traditional and online hours 1-10 will be assessed a flat per credit hour charge for residents. Credit hours above 10 are free of charge.

Benefits of the plan:

  •  Undergraduate resident students currently taking a blend of 12 traditional and 3 online credit hours will see a tuition reduction of $768 or a 19% discount.
  • Once implemented, all full-time resident undergraduate students, regardless of the modality of the courses taken (online or traditional), will only be charged for 12 credit hours. Credit hours above 12 will be free of charge.
  • For graduate resident students, all credit hours above 10 will also be free of charge.
  • Setting the tuition assessment cap at 12 and 10 credit hours for undergraduate and graduate resident students, respectively, should encourage degree completion.

To implement these initiatives and remain revenue neutral (i.e. no gain or loss in tuition revenue), the University is proposing a tuition adjustment which translates to a 1.79% tuition increase for undergraduate resident students taking 15 student credit hours.


Our recent initiatives towards access and affordability which have been proven drivers towards student success include:

ACCESS: The University of Memphis has been at the forefront of addressing access to education through innovative programs and non-traditional educational offerings (FedEx LiFE, Finish Line, Accelerated BS/MS, UofM Global, expanded dual enrollment opportunities, new degree offering, etc.)

AFFORDABILITY: The University of Memphis was the only public institution of higher education in Tennessee to not have a tuition increase in two (2) of the last five (5) years and had the lowest rate of average tuition increase (1.7%) in the past five (5) years.

At the September 2018 Board of Trustees meeting, the University instituted a lower national rate for non-resident students, as well as a lower rate for international students. This is an effort to grow our population so we can continue to keep costs low for all students.