Knoxville representative files bill to freeze tuition for college freshmen

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A bill that would freeze tuition rates at the state’s public colleges and universities was introduced into the Tennessee legislature.

Knoxville Representative Bill Dunn filed the bill for introduction into the Tennessee State House on Thursday.

A companion bill was filed by Senator Steven Dickerson on Wednesday and passed in the Senate on first consideration.

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 government board.

Members of the House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee voted down the bill in 2016.

At the time, the nonprofit College Board said 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.

UT officials had fought the bill, saying that steep tuition hikes were the result of dramatic decreases in the amount of state funding to universities.