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Tuition going up at 3 Univ. of Alabama campuses

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Trustees approved tuition hikes Friday for the University of Alabama and its two sister campuses in Birmingham and Huntsville, a decision that will increase costs for nearly 60,000 students this fall.

The 2.7 percent increase will affect the main campus in Tuscaloosa plus the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Tuition for full-time undergraduate and graduate students at the main campus will jump $125 per semester. Out-of-state tuition will go up $500 a semester.

All three campuses are facing cost increases totaling $18 million for mandatory employee contributions to the state teacher retirement system, said executive vice chancellor Ray Hayes.

The tuition increase was the smallest in a string of cost hikes going back straight years that officials blame in part on reductions in state funding for the system. The system office said the hike was the smallest tuition increase since the 1980s.

"We'll do everything we can to keep tuition as low as possible," said Hayes.

Tuition and fees for in-state students at the Tuscaloosa campus will be $4,725 a semester. Tuition and mandatory fees for the coming year will be $4,452 a semester at UAB, $4,596 at UAH.

More than 33,000 undergraduates and graduate students attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. UAB's enrollment is about 18,000, while about 7,600 students attend Alabama-Huntsville.

Leaders at state-supported schools including Auburn University and the University of North Alabama previously approved larger tuition increases for the coming academic year.