Tuition freeze for public colleges advances in Senate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bid to freeze tuition at public colleges and universities and colleges in Tennessee is advancing in the state Senate.

The Senate Education Committee voted 9-0 in favor of the measure sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville on Wednesday.

Under the bill, students would pay the same tuition for all four years in college. And any major tuition hike would have to gain unanimous approval by the school’s governing board.

According to the non-profit College Board, the 54 percent increase over five years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville was the highest rate among flagship public universities in the country.

State higher education officials have long blamed steep tuition hikes on the shrinking share of state funding to cover growing costs at state schools.

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