APSU tuition is expected to increase for the 2024-2025 school year. File photo. | THE ALL STATE

As Austin Peay State University students head into the summer, we have to start saving up for next semester’s tuition. Let’s face it, school is expensive for the older teenagers and young adults that make up the most of the college population, not to mention what the experience is like for non-traditional students such as parents or service members.

It’s difficult and expensive, but admittedly, APSU is cheaper than a lot of public state schools— being the second-lowest-costing university in the state.

While it ranks lower in price than almost all of the other public state universities in Tennessee, which has a lower cost of living than most states, it is still more expensive than most community colleges and colleges of applied technology in the state, which is fairly proportionate in comparison to most states.

Still, like most things these days, tuition is likely increasing for the 2024-2025 school year. The proposed increase will be one of four percent. In the previous four years combined, tuition at APSU has increased by a total of 4.6% (0% in 2020, 1.6% in 2021, 0% in 2022 and 3% last year).

This increase is something that all public state schools will be facing, though the increase will vary from campus to campus, as it has been proposed by Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Complete College Tennessee Act. This act has been proposed to fight recent economic inflation, which has increased steadily over the course of the past two presidencies.

Tennessee hopes that by increasing tuition now, the state will not have to increase tuition as much as other states in future years. Tennessee is currently the most affordable state in the Southeast in regards to the cost of attending college.

This begs the question: How will this increased tuition benefit students?

Bill Persinger of public relations says, “Tuition increases keep the university moving forward by providing enhanced academic experiences, such as new technology, student success initiatives and facilities like the upcoming Health Professions Building. These increases help ensure our students progress to graduation and are necessary to cover rising costs.”

Persinger acknowledged these costs for both students and the university, but emphasized the need for tuition increases, saying that it “helps us maintain buildings and fund on-ground and online course offerings, which supports Austin Peay’s mission to provide transformational experiences for the campus community.”

Notably, building maintenance has become a major point of concern due to recent weather and natural disasters such as the tornado back in December, which impacted APSU and much of the surrounding Clarksville community.

All that being said, expect to be spending a few more dollars on tuition this year, but know that the student experience and university expansion are at the heart of this increase.