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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A law degree from the University of Tennessee is a quality education at a reasonable cost to the student, UT law dean Richard Wirtz said Wednesday.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has recommended 1995-96 fee increases of 7 percent for in-state and 8 percent for out-of-state law students.

“It’s lower than the typical increase has been in recent years. It’s been running about 10 percent,” Wirtz said.

“What’s driving it is a general feeling that law school tuitions in Tennessee ought to be in line with the tuitions for state-assisted law schools in the Southeast.”

Wirtz said Tennessee’s law school tuitions continue to be in the middle of law schools in the Southeast.

“If you put this (Tennessee) tuition up against the tuition of private law schools of comparable quality, in terms of the legal education they provide, this is an awfully affordable education. The (recommended) 7 percent increase doesn’t change that,” Wirtz said.

“We have about eight applications for every seat in the entering class, and I think that reflects the fact that students get a very good legal education at a rate that compares very favorably with other schools.”

The THEC also recommended an average fee increase of 3 percent for in-state undergraduate and graduate students at state colleges and universities, and a 5 percent increase for out-of-state tuition.

In addition to the law schools, 8 percent tuition increases were recommended for out-of-state students in the colleges of medicine, veterinary medicine and pharmacy.

Contact: Dick Wirtz (615-974-2521)