KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Parents and students hold on to your wallets, the cost of a bachelor's degree at the University of Tennessee again on the rise by 12%.
UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek is asking the Board of Trustees to approve the increase to cover $60 million dollars in state budget cuts over the last four years.
"We have to first of all make certain that we maintain the university, and further develop the university," said Cheek.
"I know we have to get money somehow but I don't really feel like it always coming out of the students' pockets is the best answer," said UT student Alex Paradise.
A 12% hike will bump in-state tuition over $8,000 for the first time. Despite this, most students actually pay less than $2,500 in tuition thanks to the $4,000 hope scholarship.
"It does kind of bother you, but at the same time business is business, and you have to understand that," said student Cameron Tatum.
The University of Tennessee says the tuition hike is necessary in part to help propel the institution to among the top 25 in the nation. But not everyone is buying that argument.
"It's going to cost money to increase everything along those lines, but there has to be another way to do it" said UT student Ryan Alexander.
"That's a big jump from each student. I'd just like to know where it's going," said Alex Jones, another UT student.
Some worry the increased cost will force prospective students to look elsewhere. "Population will dwindle because of this, or more people will enlist in community colleges."