Chapel Hill, N.C. — Public universities in North Carolina are looking to recoup money lost to deep cuts in state funding by raising tuition – in some cases more than a cap that officials imposed several years ago to keep college affordable.
The 17-campus University of North Carolina system had to reduce spending by $414 million – equivalent to an across-the-board reduction of 15.6 percent – as part of a state budget that closed a $2.6 billion shortfall without a tax increase.
A special UNC-Chapel Hill task force is expected to vote this month on a proposal to raise tuition and fees for in-state students by up to $2,800, which would be a 40 percent increase.
The UNC Board of Governors put a 6.5 percent cap on annual tuition and fee increases several years ago, although they offered campuses the opportunity for a one-time increase beyond the cap to bring charges in line with those at peer universities nationwide.
UNC-CH spokeswoman Karen Moon said that, if the $2,800 increase is approved by Chancellor Holden Thorp and university trustees, it more than likely would be spread over a few years.
Meanwhile, North Carolina State University officials are considering adding $330 to the tuition bill for in-state undergraduates, which would be a 6.4 percent increase. The school might go beyond that if the Board of Governors approves of the move, officials said.
At North Carolina Central University, officials probably won't have a tuition proposal to consider until December, spokeswoman Cynthia Fobert said.
All tuition increases must be approved by trustees of the individual campus, the Board of Governors and state lawmakers before taking effect.