UT President says tuition hike unlikely to hit double digits

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Despite an unexpected state budget crunch, University of Tennessee President John Petersen predicts an expected student tuition increase in the fall will not reach double digits.

Petersen told university trustees in Chattanooga that despite Gov. Phil Bredesen recommending that legislators not spend an additional $85 million on higher education operating expenses in next year's budget, they are "on our side."

Bredesen favors expanding the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Petersen said after the meeting Wednesday that the tuition increase for college students should not reach 10 percent "even with the governor's recommended budget."

Lawmakers are expected to meet through May and decisions on student tuition typically are made by UT trustees and the Board of Regents in June.

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