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Fees, Charges, Refunds, and Payments - Community Colleges :

Policy/Guideline Area

Business and Finance Policies

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges


The purpose of the following policy is to outline significant provisions for consistent administration of fees, charges, refunds, payment of fees and enrollment of students for the community colleges governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The policy largely represents a consolidation of existing statements and practices. The policy contents include general and specific provisions for: in-state tuition (sometimes referred to as maintenance fees); out-of-state tuition; other fees; deposits; refunds; payment of fees and enrollment of students.

The policy supersedes all previous fee and refund policies and may be revised by action of the Tennessee Board of Regents or the Chancellor. Exceptions to the policy may be made by the Chancellor.


  1. General Provisions
    1. Establishment of Fees and Charges
      1. The Tennessee Board of Regents must establish or approve all institutional fees and charges unless authority has been delegated to the chancellor or presidents.
      2. The institution president is responsible for the enforcement and collection of all fees and charges. Fees and charges which specifically do not require Board approval, unless otherwise noted, must receive formal approval by the chancellor (or designee) or the president (or designee) as applicable (see section VII for pass-through charges).
      3. Institutions should attempt to follow a general format in publishing information on fees and charges, including but not limited to the following:
        1. All statements which include the fee amount should be complete and specific enough to prevent misunderstanding by readers.
        2. When a fee is quoted, the refund procedures should be clearly stated.  If there are qualifying conditions for refunds, those conditions also should be stated. If there is no refund, it should be labeled as non-refundable.
        3. Whenever possible, specific dates related to the payment of fees and the refund procedures should be stated.
        4. It should be made clear that all fees are subject to change at any time.
  2. In-State Tuition 
    1. Description
      1. In-state tuition is a charge to in-state students enrolled in credit courses.   It is calculated based on the number of Student Credit Hours (SCH's) for which the student enrolls.  
      2. The charge is applicable to courses for which the student is enrolled on an audit basis.
    2. Rates
      1. Rates are established by the Board and incorporated in a fee schedule. The hourly rate will be discounted when students enroll in greater than 12 hours.
      2. For community colleges with multiple summer sessions, tuition may be assessed by using the current part-time rate with no maximum amount for total credit hours enrolled.
      3. In-state tuition may not be waived. However, specific exceptions are provided in the following instances:
        1. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-113, exceptions exist for certain disabled and elderly students, as well as state service retirees. For audit courses, no tuition or mandatory fee is required for persons with a permanent, total disability, persons 60 years of age or older and domiciled in Tennessee and persons who have retired from state service with 30 or more years of service, regardless of age. For courses taken for credit, a fee of $70 per semester may be charged to persons with a permanent, total disability, and persons who will become 65 years of age or older during the academic semester in which they begin classes and who are domiciled in Tennessee. (Note: This fee includes all mandatory fees, including but not limited to debt service, student activity, general access, SGA, technology access, program service, sustainable campus, and international education); it does not include any other non-mandatory fees.
        2. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-102, certain statutory fee exceptions exist for dependents and spouses of military personnel killed, missing in action, or officially declared a prisoner of war while serving honorably as a member of the armed forces during a period of armed conflict. If these provisions are invoked by a student, the correct applicable law should be determined and followed.
      4. Military reserve and national guard personnel who are mobilized to active military service within six months of attendance at a TBR institution and whose mobilization lasts more than six months shall be charged upon re-enrollment at such institution the tuition, student activity fees and required registration or matriculation fees that were in effect when such student was enrolled prior to mobilization. After re-enrollment, no increase in tuition, student activity fees or required registration or matriculation fees shall be assessed to such student until a period of time equal to one year plus the combined length of all military mobilizations has elapsed. In no event, however, shall a student’s tuition and fees be frozen after re-enrollment for more than four years.
        1. To be eligible for the tuition and fee freeze, the student shall have completed military service under honorable conditions and shall re-enroll in a TBR institution within six months of release from active duty.
        2. A student eligible for the tuition and fee freeze may transfer from one state institution of higher education to another state institution of higher education one time with such student’s tuition and fees calculated at the institution to which the student transfers as if the student had been in attendance at that institution before the mobilization that resulted in the student’s tuition and fee freeze at the initial institution.
    3. Accounting Treatment
      1. A revenue account for in-state tuition is used to record both the revenue assessed and refunds made.
      2. As provided in GASB Statements 34 and 35, summer school revenues and expenditures must be accrued at fiscal year-end. Summer school activity will not be allocated to only one fiscal year.
      3. In some cases, full fees are not assessed to students. These occur when statutes establish separate rates for such groups as the disabled, elderly, and military dependents. The difference between normal fees and special fees is not assessed. Fees not assessed in these cases do not represent revenue. For administrative purposes the fees may be calculated and credited to revenue, then written off against a contra revenue account.
      4. Agreements/contracts may be executed with a third party (federal agency, corporation, institution, etc.), but not with the individual student, to deliver routine courses at a fixed rate or for the cost of delivering the course and may provide for fees not to be charged to individual students. Individual student fees will be assessed as usual and charged to the functional category Scholarships and Fellowships. The amount charged to or paid by the third party is credited to the appropriate Grants and Contracts revenue account.
      5. In some cases, a non-credit course provides an option to grant regular credit. If a separate (or additional) fee is collected because of the credit, that amount is reported as tuition revenue.
      6. Full-time employees of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the Locally Governed Institutions (LGIs), and the University of Tennessee systems may enroll in one course per term at any public postsecondary institution, with tuition and mandatory fees waived for the employee. No tuition paying student shall be denied enrollment in a course because of enrollment of TBR, LGI, and UT employees.
      7. Part-time regular and part-time temporary employees, including adjuncts, of community colleges and colleges of applied technology are eligible to enroll in one credit course per term at the college where they work, with tuition charges waived for the employee.  Any fees (other than tuition/maintenance fees) associated with enrollment and attendance are not waived.
      8. Spouses and dependents of employees of the Tennessee Board of Regents system may be eligible for a tuition and mandatory fee discount for undergraduate courses at Tennessee Board of Regents institutions, the LGIs, and the University of Tennessee. Tennessee Board of Regents institutions exchange funds for tuition and mandatory fee discounts of employees’ spouses and dependents who participate in a Tennessee Board of Regents educational assistance program. This also applies to exchanging of funds for tuition discounts between Tennessee Board of Regents institutions, the LGIs, and the University of Tennessee institutions.
      9. Fee waivers for full-time State employees and fee discounts to children of certified public-school teachers shall be accounted for as a scholarship.
  3. Out-of-State Tuition 
    1. Description of Fee
      1. Out-of-State tuition is charged to students classified as non-residents who are enrolled for credit courses, including audit courses.
      2. Out-of-state tuition fee rates are established by the Tennessee Board of Regents and are incorporated in the annual fee schedule.
      3. Applicability of out-of-state tuition is determined pursuant to Tennessee Board of Regents Policy for Classifying Students In-State and Out-of-State for Paying College Fees & Tuition & for Admission Purposes (No. The business office will collect fees based upon student classification as determined by the appropriate authority within the institution.
    2. Accounting Treatment
      1. A revenue account for out-of-state tuition is used for recording both credits for fees and debits for refunds.
      2. Other accounting is the same for out-of-state tuition as that outlined under in-state tuition except separate out-of-state accounts are used.
        1. In the case of fees not collected from students under grants and contracts, the same expense account under Scholarships and Fellowships may be used.
  4. eRate
    1. Description of Fee
      1. The eRate is available to students who enroll at TBR institutions, who are classified as non-residents of Tennessee, and who are enrolled exclusively in online or other remote delivery courses.
      2. The eRate is 150% of the institution's approved in-state tuition rate.
      3. The hourly rate will not be discounted for students receiving the eRate and enrolling in greater than 12 hours.
      4. To qualify for an eRate, students must:
        1. Meet all institution admission requirements and must
        2. Be verified and documented by the institution as an online out-of-state student enrolled exclusively in courses delivered exclusively online or by other remote delivery methods.
        3. Out-of-state students must both be classified as an out-of-state student and be physically living outside the state of Tennessee. Undocumented students living in Tennessee do not qualify for the eRate.
      5. Students enrolled in any type courses with an on-ground, in Tennessee component will not be eligible for the eRate specified in this guideline and will instead incur traditional out-of-state tuition and fees.
        1. Students who enroll in both online or remote delivery courses and on-ground in Tennessee courses and subsequently drop the on-ground courses will not then become eligible for the eRate. 
    2. Accounting Treatment
      1. The eRate fee will be recorded as out-of-state tuition.
  5. Mandatory Fees
    Mandatory fees are generally fees to support various programs that are assessed to all enrolled students and are not course dependent.
    1. Debt Service Fees
      1. The amount of debt service fees will be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Separate rates are recommended by each institution based on requirements of the institution.
      2. Revenue from debt service fees will be recorded in the unrestricted current fund and then transferred to the retirement of indebtedness fund.
      3. At the conclusion of the debt retirement for a given project, the debt service fee attributed to the project will cease. Any new project requires the approval of a new debt service fee on its own merits without the reallocation of any existing fee. Any continuation of fees necessary for renewal and replacement of a project for which the debt is totally retired must be approved for that purpose by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    2. Student Activity Fees
      1. Student activity fees must be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Such fees may be recommended by each institution based on facilities and services to be provided which are related to the activity fee. These services include but are not limited to access to all social, athletic, and cultural functions sponsored by the school.  Per TCA §49-8-109, these services are available to any student upon the payment of the regular activity fee.  

        A portion of the student activity fee (and/or tuition) may be allocated to the student government association (SGA) and recorded in the restricted fund as an SGA fee.  A referendum providing for an increase in that portion of the student activity fee (and/or tuition) received by the SGA may be held for student body approval or rejection.  Per TCA §49-8-110, the referendum shall be held at the election for SGA officers and shall be on the ballot with the candidates for the offices.  The referendum shall be held if the SGA legislative body votes to hold such a referendum and if the appropriate college administrative body approves the decision to hold a referendum.  In the event a majority of the students voting in the election approve the question submitted in the referendum, then that portion of the student activity fee allocated to the SGA shall be increased by the amount approved subject to the Board’s approval.  The increased portion shall be used for student projects, student activities and student scholarships.  The uses shall be approved by the appropriate administrative body of the college designated to supervise and advise the SGA.
        The student activity fee portion will be unrestricted current funds revenues. These fees are refundable on the same basis as tuition or as established by the institution.
    3. Technology Access Fees
      1. A fee shall be levied by each institution for the purpose of providing student access to computing and similar technologies. It is refundable on the same basis as tuition or as established by the institutions. Institutions shall establish expenditure accounts and designated revenue accounts for purposes of recording technology access fees and expenditures.
      2. Use
        The TAF should be used by TBR institutions for direct student benefit, for items such as new and improved high technology laboratories and classrooms, appropriate network and software, computer and other equipment, and technological improvements that enhance instruction. Use of TAF funds includes but is not limited to the following items:
        1. Computers and other technical laboratory supplies, equipment, and software and maintenance.
        2. Network costs (internet service, interactive video, etc.)
        3. "Smart" or multimedia classroom equipment and classroom modifications.
        4. Lab and course staffing - student and staff assistance for lab and classroom uses; community colleges are limited to 25% maximum of current-year TAF revenues for student or staff employees.
        5. Renewal and replacement reserves as necessary.
        6. New machines for faculty use when faculty are actively engaged in developing and conducting on-line courses.
        7. Faculty and staff development directly related to the introduction or application of new technology which impacts students. These guidelines should have the flexibility to place instructional technology in a faculty lab where course materials are being prepared. For example, TAF funds can be used to create faculty labs to include the purchase of computers and to conduct faculty training and course development. (Travel costs for faculty and staff are excluded; however, consultants may be hired as needed for training.)
        8. Infrastructure (wiring, network, servers, etc.) necessary to provide students maximum computing capability. A ceiling is established of 50% of the total project costs from which technology access fees can be used.
        9. Expand technology resources in library, i.e., video piped anywhere on campus, interactive video room for distance education, network for web video courses.
          Compliance with these guidelines will be audited by the internal audit staff and reported to the Board as determined by the internal auditor’s annual risk-based planning process or other appropriate means.
    4. Program Services Fee
      1. This includes support for application to the college, change of course processing, transcript processing, graduation ceremonies, parking facilities, etc.  It is refundable on the same basis as tuition or as established by the institution.
    5. Sustainable Campus Fee
      1. This supports campus environmentally sustainable efforts and initiatives.  See TBR Guideline B-065 Sustainable Campus Fee Program for program requirements.
    6. International Education Fee
      1. The amount of the International Education Fee will be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Separate rates are recommended by each institution based on requirements of the institution. Generally, the fee supports cultural and international opportunities, student activities for all students, and promotion of student’s world knowledge.  This fee assists in integrating cultural and international concepts across all academic disciplines in order to increase a student’s ability to compete in the international environment.
      2. International Education Fee Usage Per TBR Policy
        1. Recognizing the need for flexibility while maintaining accountability, the TBR has established the optional assessment of an international education fee to be paid by each student enrolled in the institutions.
        2. Individual institutions have authority to allocate funds to activities in support of globalization efforts for the campus, including international professional development of the faculty.
        3. Institutions should use a portion of the revenue generated through the international education fee for study abroad scholarships.
        4. Individual institutions are responsible for establishing an infrastructure to determine the allocation of the international education fees collected from students to promote globalization at the home institution. The infrastructure should include student representation or input received from the entire study body.
        5. Employee Compensation/Benefits provided by Program Abroad
          1. An allocation of salary and benefit costs for those involved in providing direct support for international programs are allowable but should be controlled and kept to a minimum.
          2. Faculty engaged in directing or teaching study abroad courses receive remuneration from their home institutions. Direct instructional cost should be charged to the appropriate departmental budget and not to the international education fee budget.
  6. Specialized Academic Program Fees
    Certain academic programs require expensive maintenance/updating of equipment and software and the employment of highly qualified staff. The high costs of instruction for these programs can be offset by establishing specialized academic fees, with the Board’s approval. To receive approval for a specialized academic fee, a program will be required to meet criteria A, High Cost of Instruction as defined below. Additionally, it is preferred that the program document meeting criteria B-H if applicable.
    1. High Cost of Instruction. Programs qualifying for charging specialized academic fees must demonstrate that they are more costly than other programs offered by the institution. If appropriate, the extraordinary cost of the program must be validated including benchmarking with similar programs in the region and nation.
    2. High Demand. The number of students enrolled in the program and the student credit hours generated are sufficient to justify additional fees.
    3. High Cost of Updating/Maintaining Equipment and Software. Programs qualifying for charging specialized academic fees are expected to be those that require extensive maintenance and regular updating of equipment and/or software, all of which are very expensive. An average hardware/software cost per student credit hour serves as the basis for determining the amount of the fee.
    4. Accreditation. Meeting standards of specific accrediting agencies may also qualify a specialized program for charging specialized academic fees.  The accrediting standards that justify a fee are those that specify the possession and use of certain equipment and unique software that are extraordinarily costly and/or the employment of faculty with specific credentials that demand high salaries.
    5. High Recognition and Quality. The programs approved for specialized academic fees are expected to be distinctive and with a regional reputation. The program should demonstrate that it has achieved exceptional recognition in its particular enterprise.
    6. High Value to Tennessee. The program should demonstrate that it is a good investment for the State of Tennessee to justify charging extra fees to the student. The graduates’ earning potential and the associated benefit to the state economy should be projected, as well as the efforts taken by the institution to aid graduates in finding appropriate employment in Tennessee.
    7. Impact on Affected Students. Through surveys, questionnaires, or other suitable means, the program should demonstrate that the charging of additional fees will not diminish enrollment. The program should demonstrate that enrolled students realize that the potential earning power in the work force justifies their additional investment.
    8. Institution must submit documentation of the above applicable criteria when requesting approval of a specialized academic fee. Specialized academic course fee revenues are limited to funding related costs accumulated in the instruction function.
  7. Miscellaneous Course Fees
    All miscellaneous fees must be approved by TBR. Fees for courses requiring special off-campus facilities or services do not require Board approval but should reflect the cost of the facilities or services.  Fees for courses requiring materials or services that are required or recommended by faculty and are a direct pass-through of the actual cost charged by a third-party provider may be approved by the chancellor. Examples include but are not limited to state board nursing exam preparatory programs, industry certification exam fees, etc. Fees approved by the chancellor will be provided to the Board as an interim action item.
  8. Incidental Fees and Charges
    1. Uniform Rates and Policies - Institutions 
      The following fees will be uniformly charged (or, if applicable, to the extent that they remain within the set range) at all institutions both as to the amount and condition of assessment. Charges are subject to approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
      1. Returned Check Fee: $30.00 per check - nonrefundable. All institutions will charge a returned check fee that is the maximum set by state law.  This fee will apply to all returned checks received by the institution, whether from students, faculty, staff, or other parties. The Board will review state statutes each spring to determine any changes. (T.C.A. § 47-29-102)
      2. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) fee:  $25 (non-refundable).  This fee, also known as credit by exam fee, will be assessed at the rate of $25 per exam, regardless of the number of credit hours awarded.  PLA standards were developed by the Tennessee Prior Learning Assessment Task Force and adopted by the TBR and UT Systems.
    2. Other Fees and Charges Subject to Board Approval
      1. All Institutions
        1. The following fees may be assessed by all institutions. Specific rate recommendations will be developed separately by each institution for approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents. In review of the recommendations, the Board staff will consider the consistency of fees for comparable services among institutions.
          1. Motor Vehicle Registration - nonrefundable. A fee may be levied by each institution per academic year, per fiscal year and/or per academic term for motor vehicle registration.  The fee may be assessed to faculty and staff.
          2. Traffic Fines - nonrefundable. These fines will apply to all employees and students.
          3. Applied Music Fees. This fee is charged for private music lessons or small group training sessions. It is refundable on the same basis as tuition or as established by the institution.
          4. Late Registration Fee. A late registration fee up to $100 will be charged during the entire period of late registration. The effective date of the fee will be determined by each institution.
          5. Transcript Fee. There will be no charge for transcripts; however, institutions shall set a limit on a reasonable number of copies at any one time and may establish a nonrefundable charge for the cost of copying transcripts in excess of that number.
      2. Fees and Charges to be Established and Administered by the Institution.
        1. The following fees and charges may be established and administered by each institution. No specific approval or notification to the Tennessee Board of Regents will be required unless subject to other Board or State requirements. The institution will establish appropriate refund policies. 
          1. Sales of goods and services of a commercial nature, including bookstores (including digital textbook costs assessed on the student’s account), food services, vending, laundry, and similar activities. Fees for auxiliary services must take into consideration that Auxiliary Enterprises should be a break-even operation with rates and charges generating revenue sufficient to cover all expenses as defined in operating budget guidelines.
          2. Rental of facilities. Fees may be established to control the utilization of facilities and services or to offset the cost of extraordinary requirements as a result of specific programs or activities. [Reference Tennessee Board of Regents Policy on Access to and Use of Campus Property and Facilities (No.]
          3. Admissions fees to athletic and other events open to the public, including special events sponsored by campus organizations and activities.
          4. Sales and services of educational activities such as clinical services, publications, etc.
          5. Registration for conferences, institutes, and non-credit activities. Fees established for non-credit courses and activities shall at a minimum be sufficient to cover the total costs incurred in providing instruction and may be influenced by current market rates for comparable courses or training.
          6. Fees for use of campus facilities for recreational purposes.
          7. Parking permits and parking meters for use by guests and visitors.
          8. Library fines, which will apply to students, faculty, staff, and other library users.
          9. Child Care Fees - Kindergarten, Preschool, Early Childhood, Day Care, or similarly defined activities. The refund policy will be established by the institution.
          10. Special Exam Fee and Standardized Test Fees - nonrefundable. The fee will be determined based upon cost to the institution.
          11. Identification Card Replacement - nonrefundable.  There will be no charge for the original identification card. A fee may be set by each institution to offset the cost of replacing the card. This fee applies only to student ID cards and not to faculty and staff ID's.
          12. Change of Course or Section Fee - nonrefundable. If the change is caused by the institution, there will be no charge for the change. If two or more forms are used at one time, they will be treated as one change/form. Institutions may waive the fee for schedule changes.
  9. Deposits
    1. Breakage deposits may be required by the institution for courses or items in which it can be shown that there is a reasonable chance of loss or damage to items issued to students. The amount of the deposit should be related to the materials issued and subject to a 100% refund.
    2. A deposit may be established by the institution for rent or lease of buildings and facilities or for the issuance of other institutional property or equipment. Deposits should be subject to a 100% refund if no damage or loss occurs. The amount of such deposits should be related to the value of the facilities or equipment subject to loss and the general ability of the institution to secure reimbursement should loss or damage occur.
  10. Other Fee and Charge Considerations
    1. Institutions may submit for Board of Regents approval fees and charges not specifically covered by those guidelines when the establishment of a fee or charge is justified by the institution.
    2. When fees and charges are incorporated in agreements with outside contractors and vendors, specific rates, refunds, and conditions must be clearly stated.
  11. Refunds and Fee Adjustments
    1. Adjustments to all fees and charges must be in accordance with the following provisions except as previously stated, or when required by federal law or regulation to be otherwise.
    2. Pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 49-7-2301 and 49-7-2302, students called to active military or National Guard service during the semester are entitled to a 100% adjustment or credit of mandatory fees.
    3. Tuition Refunds and Adjustments
      1. Refunds are 100% for courses canceled by the institution.
      2. Changes in courses involving the adding and dropping of equal numbers of SCH's for the same term at the same time require no refund or assessment of additional tuition, unless the dropping and adding involves TNeCampus courses.
      3. The fee adjustment for withdrawals or drops during regular terms (fall and spring) is 75% from the first day of classes through the fourteenth calendar day of classes and then reduced to 25% for a period of time which extends 25% of the length of the term. When the first day of the academic term falls on a Saturday, the 100% refund period is extended through the weekend until the following Monday morning (12:01 am). There is no fee adjustment after the 25% period ends. Dropping or withdrawing from classes during either the 75% or the 25% fee adjustment period will result in a fee adjustment of assessed tuition based on the total credit hours of the final student enrollment.
      4. For summer sessions and other short terms, the 75% fee adjustment period and the 25% fee adjustment period will extend a length of time which is the same proportion of the term as the 75% and 25% periods are of the regular terms.
      5. All fee adjustment periods will be rounded to whole days and the date on which each fee adjustment period ends will be included in publications. In calculating the 75% period for other than the fall and spring and in calculating the 25% length of term in all cases, the number of calendar days during the term will be considered. When the calculation produces a fractional day, rounding will be up or down to the nearest whole day.
      6. A full refund (100%) is provided on behalf of a student whose death occurs during the term. Any indebtedness should be offset against the refund.
      7. A 100% refund will be provided for students who drop a course or courses prior to the beginning of the first day of class.
      8. A 100% refund will be provided to students who are compelled by the institution to withdraw when it is determined that through institutional error, they were academically ineligible for enrollment or were not properly admitted to enroll for the course(s) being dropped. An appropriate official must certify in writing that this provision is applicable in each case.
      9. When courses are included in a regular term's registration process for administrative convenience, but the course does not begin until later in the term, the 75%/25% fee adjustment periods will be based on the particular course's beginning and ending dates. This provision does not apply to classes during the fall or spring terms which may meet only once per week. Those courses will follow the same refund dates as other regular courses for the term.
      10. The fee adjustment is calculated as the difference between (1) the per credit hour cost of originally enrolled hours and (2) the per credit hour cost of the courses at final enrollment after adjustments have been applied for all courses dropped. Adjustments are calculated at the full per credit hour rate less the fee adjustment credit at the applicable fee adjustment percentage (regardless of the original number of hours enrolled). Not all drops/withdrawals will result in fee adjustments.
    4. Out-of-State Tuition Refunds and Fee Adjustments
      1. The fee adjustment provision for out-of-state tuition is the same as that for in-state tuition. The 75% fee adjustment period and the 25% fee adjustment period will follow the same dates as the fee adjustment periods for in-state tuition.
    5. Debt Service Fee Refunds
      1. Debt service fees will be subject to the same refund policy as tuition.
  12. Payment of Student Fees and Enrollment
    1. All assessed fees by an institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents are due and payable at the time of registration or at a time set by the institution.
      1. Community colleges may implement deferred payment plans as may be allowed under a TBR guideline and as authorized for the student.
    2. An individual will be considered enrolled and counted as a student at a TBR institution when:
      1. all assessed fees have been paid (unless otherwise noted in policy); or
      2. the initial minimum payment due under any deferred payment plans has been paid; or
      3. an acceptable commitment from an agency or organization approved by the institution has been received by the institution.
    3. An individual shall possess an acceptable commitment when an application(s) for financial aid has been timely submitted with the reasonable probability of receiving such.
      1. An acceptable commitment from an agency or organization shall be limited to a commitment which identifies the applicant and promises to pay all unpaid assessed fees for such applicant.
      2. No commitments from individuals will be accepted on behalf of applicants.
    4. Pursuant to the above condition, institutions must require payment of all applicable fees or payment of the initial minimum payment due under the deferred payment plan or have an acceptable commitment from an agency or organization.  Otherwise, institutions must purge students from the class rolls that haven’t satisfied the payment requirements.
      1. At a minimum, two purges for non-payment should occur. 
      2. One purge for non-payment must occur sometime prior to the beginning of classes. 
      3. A final purge must occur on or before the census date to ensure that only students that have met the payment requirements are reported in the census reports.
      4. Students will not be purged for non-payment if the debt owed, whether current debt or prior debt is less than $100.
    5. Notwithstanding any other requirements in policy, there will be no record holds, enrollment holds, or purging of students for non-payment if the debt owed, whether current debt or prior debt, is less than $100.
    6. All outstanding debts and obligations of $100 or greater not evidenced by an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see Section XIV) or a current semester deferred payment agreement must be fully satisfied by the 14th day purge of the semester.
    7. An individual will not be considered for admission/readmission as a student until all past due debts and obligations of $100 or greater incurred in prior academic terms, of whatever nature, have been paid, or the student, if allowable, has entered into an acceptable acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see Section XIV) with the institution for the past due debts and obligations.
    8. When an individual tenders payment of fees by means of a personal check or credit card, the individual may be considered and counted as a student. If the payment is subsequently dishonored by the financial institution, and the payment is not redeemed in cash, the institution has the option to not consider that student as enrolled for the term.
      1. At the discretion of the institution, the student may be considered enrolled and will be assessed the applicable returned payment fee, the applicable late registration fee, and normal collection procedures as prescribed in TBR Guideline B-010 (Collection of Accounts Receivable) will be followed.
      2. Institutions may deny future check writing privileges to students who have paid registration fees with checks that are subsequently dishonored.
      3. While institutions have discretion in how these situations will be handled, all students must be treated the same at that institution.
      4. The institutions are authorized, subject to approval by the Board, to establish charges for late registration and/or payments which are returned dishonored, and such charges shall become assessed fees for purposes of admission.
  13. Records Holds
    1. Except as provided in sub-section XII.B. hereof, institutions shall not issue diplomas, transcripts, certificates of credit or grade reports until the student involved has satisfied all debts or obligations of $100 or greater or the debts or obligations are evidenced by notes or other written contracts providing for future payment, such as, but not, limited to, loans authorized under federal or state education or student assistance acts. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree. Diplomas, transcripts, certificates of credit, and grade reports shall not be withheld for debts that are less than $100.
    2. The colleges in the college system of Tennessee shall issue a certificate of credit or official transcript for a student seeking admission to any college in the college system of Tennessee if the student has entered a written agreement (acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay) to satisfy the outstanding debt or obligation owed to the college issuing the certificate of credit or official transcript in the form of Exhibit 1 hereto.
      1. Any credit or official transcript issued under this subsection shall indicate that it is subject to an outstanding debt to the issuing college.
      2. The college receiving the certificate of credit or official transcript issued shall not subsequently issue a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript to that student until it receives proof that the student has satisfied the outstanding debt to the college that issued the certificate of credit or official transcript. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree.
  14. Enrollment Holds
    1. A student must pay any past due debts and obligations owed to the institution incurred in prior academic terms before being permitted to register at the institution unless the debt is less than $100, or an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see section XIV) for the prior debt or obligation has been executed.
    2. Institutions shall allow enrollment when the outstanding obligation is less than $100.
      1. Additionally, all known debts and obligations to the institution incurred during the current term of $100 or greater must be satisfied prior to a student being allowed to pre-register for any future terms.
    3. An amount owed under the institution’s deferred payment plan for enrollment fees which is not yet due shall not cause an enrollment hold to be applied.
    4. A student that is currently assigned to a collection agency will be allowed to register if the student signs an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement in the form of Exhibit 1 hereto that acknowledges they will not receive a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript (except as provided in XIII. A and B above) until the debt is paid in full. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree. The student account will not be recalled from the collection agency.​​​​​​​
  15. Acknowledgement of Debt/Promise to Pay Agreement for Prior Debt and Obligations
    1. A student who has prior outstanding debt of $100 or more and was not enrolled in the preceding semester (excluding summer semester) may execute an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement with the institution.
      1. The acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement will require that the debt be fully satisfied before a diploma or degree will be issued. However, this does not prohibit the conferring of the degree.
      2. The acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement will require continuous enrollment.
        1. If continuous enrollment is not maintained the institution may continue with immediate collection efforts as prescribed in TBR Guideline B-010 (Collection of Accounts Receivable) or pursuant to the terms of any previously executed repayment agreement.
      3. A student may only ever execute one such agreement with the institution.
      4. "Continuous enrollment" means a student is enrolled in the fall and spring semesters of a single academic year unless granted a medical or personal leave of absence. Allowable medical or personal reasons may include illness of the student; illness or death of an immediate family member; extreme financial hardship of the student or student’s immediate family; fulfillment of a religious commitment encouraged of members of that faith; fulfillment of required initial active duty for training as a National Guard or Reserve member or for National Guard or Reserve mobilization.​​​​​​​
  16. Applicability of Fees
    1. In accordance with this policy, the president or designee of an institution or the chancellor or designee has the authority to determine the applicability of certain fees, fines, charges, and refunds, and to approve exceptions in instances of unusual circumstances or for special groups. All such actions should be properly documented for auditing purposes.​​​​​​​
  17. Exceptions
    1. With regard to payment of student fees and enrollment, the Chancellor or designee may approve exceptions to the requirements of this policy in appropriate circumstances.
    2. Requests for exceptions from Presidents must include sufficient justification documentation.



Authority: T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Public Chapter 739 of the Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, 2018


TBR Meetings, June 20, 1975; September 30, 1983; June 24, 1988; June 29, 1990; June 21, 1996; December 8, 2006; December 4, 2008; June 21, 2013; March 30, 2016; June 22, 2018; June 17, 2022; January 16, 2024, Ministerial Changes.


Former Guideline B-060, Fees, Charges, Refunds, and Fee Adjustments

December 2, 1977 TBR meeting.  Revised March 14, 1980 TBR meeting; November 13, 1991 presidents meeting; November 8, 1982 presidents meeting; July 1, 1984; November 1, 1988; May 15, 1990 presidents meeting; August 14, 1990 presidents meeting; November 1§0, 1992 presidents meeting; August 10, 1993 presidents meeting; November 9, 1993 presidents meeting; August 9, 1994 presidents meeting; May 8, 1995 presidents meeting, August 8, 1995 presidents meeting, November 8, 1995 presidents meeting, February 6, 1996 presidents meeting, May 14, 1996 presidents meeting, November 12, 1996 presidents meeting, May 6, 1997 presidents meeting, July 16, 1997 called Board meeting, November 5, 1997 presidents meeting, February 17, 1998 presidents meeting via conference call, August 25, 1998 presidents meeting, May 9, 2000 presidents meeting, August 8, 2000 presidents meeting, November 8, 2000 presidents meeting, February 13, 2001 presidents meeting, August 21, 2001 presidents meeting, May 21, 2002 presidents meeting, February 11, 2003 presidents meeting, May 20, 2003 presidents meeting, February 10, 2004 presidents meeting, August 17, 2004 presidents meeting, February 8, 2005 presidents meeting, May 17, 2005 presidents meeting, February 8, 2006 presidents meeting, May 16, 2006 presidents meeting, August 16, 2006 presidents meeting, May 15, 2007 presidents meeting, August 21, 2007 presidents meeting, November 6, 2007 presidents meeting, February 17, 2009 presidents meeting; May 12, 2009 presidents meeting; August 11, 2009 presidents meeting; November 10, 2009 presidents meeting; February 16, 2010 presidents meeting; February 15, 2011 presidents meeting; May 17, 2011 presidents meeting; August 16, 2011 presidents meeting; May 16, 2012 presidents meeting; August 21, 2012 presidents meeting; Revised at Presidents Meeting, February 4, 2014; Revised at Presidents Meeting, August 18, 2015; Revised at Presidents Meeting, November 10, 2015; Presidents Meeting February 2, 2016; August 8, 2017; Guideline B-060 merged into Policies and at Board Meeting June 17, 2022.