In 2008, the Tennessee State Board of Education began a distance learning and e-learning policy to enhance and accelerate educational offerings to the state’s high schoolers. Students can now access courses and course formats otherwise unavailable to them. The policy also assures that schools deliver a consistent and high quality education for students statewide. In 2009, Tennessee’s online curriculum resource e4TN was recognized as a leader in distance learning by the United States Distance Learning Associated. Many schools in Tennessee have incorporated distance learning into curriculums, like the University of Tennessee, which offers 40 online degree programs, and reports an increase in online enrollment nearly every semester.
The cost of tuition at Tennessee colleges has hovered slightly above the national average, with public two-year schools experiencing a 43% increase between 2004 and 2014, and tuition increased 57.5% during the same period at public four-year schools. In June of 2014, the Tennessee Board of Regents voted to increase tuition at its universities, and many students will feel the financial burdens in 2015. Tuition will increase 5.8% at 13 community colleges, and 6.9% at six universities, including East Tennessee University, which will increase by $442 per year per student.
The spike in costs is, in part, due to a 21.8% decrease in state funding for higher education between 2008 and 2014. Despite recent tuition inflation, enrollment has continued to increase in public Tennessee schools. Between 2002 and 2012, enrollment increased 20% in Tennessee, slightly above the 19% national average. Tennessee has an overall 47.8% graduation rate among public four-year universities, and a 72.2% first-year student retention rate.
Find more information on Tennessee’s best online degree programs in our extensive school database below. Learn how Tennessee schools rank nationally by browsing the state facts section below.