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Board of Regents approves tuition hike; U of M underclassmen to pay additional $300 dining fee.

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At the University of Memphis, the freshman 15 is now the freshman 300.

In addition to an overall tuition hike next year, the U of M plans to charge underclassmen an additional $300 dining fee per semester. The increases come after a $6 million cut in state funding.

"Being a student, it's expensive to eat on campus," said Gionni Carr, student representative with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and former U of M student body president. Carr cast the only vote against the overall tuition hike and the U of M dining fee approved at the Board of Regents' June 19th meeting.

"My choosing to spend my money on campus is one thing, but making me spend my money is quite another," Carr said.

U of M freshmen and sophomores will be issued a debit card to use at campus dining facilities. University officials said the new dining policy would promote campus community and improve efficiency.

The tuition hike approved in June will mean an average increase of 6.1 percent for students at the six TBR universities.

Tuition for the U of M will increase more than the other TBR schools, at just over 7 percent. Last year, in-state tuition for full-time U of M students was $2,151 per semester. In the fall, that number will be $2,292.

Full-time students once allowed to take more than 12 credit hours for free will now be charged an additional $10 per credit hour. About 40 percent of U of M students take between 13 and 15 credit hours each semester.

John Gillum is one such student. A computer technology major, he plans to graduate in the fall with a full load of 18 credit hours that semester.

"I think [the credit-hour increase] is better than doing a 7 to 9 overall percentage increase," Gillum said.

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