VOL. 133 | NO. 177 | Thursday, September 6, 2018
U of M Drops Out-of-State Tuition, Adopts Non-Resident Fee
Special to The Daily News
The University of Memphis board of trustees voted to adopt a four-tier tuition structure: in-state, national, international and online. The move will help keep tuition rates low for Tennessee residents, but also will help the U of M compete with other universities to attract more out-of-state and international students. (Daily News file)
The University of Memphis is keeping it simple when it comes to tuition. Beginning in the fall of 2019, all students will pay base tuition, with non-Tennessee residents and international students paying an additional fee.
At its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 5, the U of M board of trustees voted to adopt a four-tier tuition structure: in-state, national, international and online.
The move will help keep tuition rates low for Tennessee residents, but also will help the U of M compete with other universities to attract more out-of-state and international students.
At the last trustees’ meeting in June, U of M president M. David Rudd told the board he was exploring plans to expand the university’s “250-R” program – which partially waives out-of-state tuition fees for students living within a 250-mile radius of campus – to a 650-mile radius, and eventually move to a flat national rate altogether.
Wednesday, the board voted to adopt a flat fee for any student coming from outside Tennessee and international students.
“We have limited national reach currently. This positions us to continue to grow at the state level and expand national reach beyond the 250-mile radius,” Rudd said.
Instead of out-of-state tuition, non-Tennessee residents will pay base in-state tuition, plus a fee, which comes out to $480 per credit hour for undergraduates, $695 per credit hour for graduate students and $981 per credit hour for law students.
International students will pay base tuition, plus $640 per credit hour for undergraduates, $887 per credit hour for graduate students and $1,156 per credit hour for law students.
Undergraduate and graduate students currently paying out-of-state tuition will pay about 30 percent less a semester under the new non-Tennessee resident fee structure.
Undergraduate students who are paying the current 250-R rate will see a 2.39 percent increase if they take the standard 15 credit hours a semester.
The most tuition increase will be felt by international students enrolled in the law school – a 14 percent increase if they take the standard 12-hour semester.
“But that’s not a market we play in. In fact, we only have one [law] student who is considered an international student,” said U of M CFO Raaj Kurapati.
In-state tuition and rates for the university’s online degree program U of M Global will remain the same.
“This is a good chance for us to take a significant step and do it at a marginal financial risk,” Rudd said. “Right now, we have a small number of students that fall outside that 250-mile radius, so it’s not difficult for us to take this step. We only have to grow by 250 new students in order to cover this reduction in out-of-state tuition.”
If the U of M does not recruit 250 students among various classifications, it will see an estimated $2.7 million decrease in tuition revenue.
“We will easily be able to do that. If we wait, it will become more difficult in future years,” Rudd said. “Timing is optimal and the opportunity is a good one and I encourage us to take it.”
Earlier in committees, Rudd said trustee Brad Martin pointed out 57 percent of students that come into the state and go to U of M stay in the area, so it helps grow the tax base and helps grow the population in Memphis and Tennessee.