Trustees OK major tuition increase at UNC-CH

Posted November 17, 2011

— Ignoring the pleas of students to limit tuition increases, the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday approved one of the largest increases in recent memory.

North Carolina State University officials also are poised to adopt a hefty tuition increase for 2012-13.

Under the UNC-Chapel Hill plan, which still must be approved by the UNC Board of Governors and state lawmakers, tuition for in-state undergraduates would go up by $800 in 2012-13 and at least $583 a year over the following four years.

The UNC Board of Governors implemented a 6.5 percent cap on tuition increases across the university system several years ago, but the cap allowed campuses to impose a one-time increase beyond the cap to "catch up" to tuition levels at competing schools nationwide.

The proposed tuition for next year includes a 6.5 percent increase, plus $467 of the $2,800 that officials say will put UNC-Chapel Hill in line with other universities.

Students presented trustees with postcards signed by 1,000 students in opposition to the tuition increase, and they decried what they see as a push toward making UNC more like a private university.

"Moderation is key in the midst of trying times," student body president Mary Cooper said. "A 15.6 percent increase is untenable, especially for current students."

If the proposed increase goes into effect, tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates will be $7,795 and $28,442 for out-of-state undergraduates. In-state graduate students would pay $9,689, and out-of-state students would pay $25,779.

UNC officials said raising tuition is necessary because state budget cuts have trimmed the university's spending by $231 million in recent years. Hundreds of staff positions have been eliminated, faculty and staff have gone three years without a salary increase and class sizes have increased since course offerings have been cut, officials said.

UNC tuition protest Cost of college in NC poised to spike

Provost Bruce Carney said more than 130 faculty members have left UNC since 2009.

"We've always said students and families are our last resort, and again, I think I've outlined why we've reached the point of last resort," Chancellor Holden Thorp said.

Students said UNC should dip into its $2.2 billion endowment before forcing students to make up for state budget cuts. They say they are graduating with too much debt or are being forced to stop their education altogether because of rising costs.

Officials said much of the endowment is earmarked for specific uses. They also noted that 45 percent of the tuition increase will be set aside for need-based financial aid.

Some students said they understand the need for them to pay more.

"I'd rather see an increase in the cost of tuition than us losing classes that would be fundamental or losing library hours," junior Christopher Wallace said.

Other tuition increases

N.C. State's Board of Trustees is expected to vote Friday on a proposal to raise tuition for 2012-13 by 6.5 percent, or $330 for in-state undergraduates and $660 for all other students. The board also could approve an $1,170 increase over five years to hire faculty and reduce class sizes.

Together, the increases would raise tuition at N.C. State by more than 9 percent next year, to $7,523 for in-state undergraduates.

North Carolina Central University officials are still formulating their tuition request for next year, but officials are eying a 6.5 percent increase, which would be $192 for in-state undergraduates.


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  • golfman60 Nov 18, 2011

    Oh, and I forgot. From the UNC-CH website. Cost of attending Chapel Hill in 2011-12... $20,660. From the N&O - Poverty level for a family of 4 in North Carolina... $22,000. Not adhering to the NC constitutional mandate of affordable higher education, methinks.

  • Commen Nov 18, 2011

    I agree with both anniemouse and T-3485!

  • G-man Nov 18, 2011

    The state cut back on some funding, but rather than reduce spending and make some cutbacks the school merely raises tution. Sounds like what the federal government is trying to do.

  • golfman60 Nov 18, 2011

    Investigate big education. And what about the 45% for need-based financial aid? Sort of self-perpetuating isn't it. Raise tuition, take from the haves and give 45% to the have nots. And I don't want to hear about the poor UNC-CH professors that haven't had a raise in 3 years... from May 2009 "UNC-CH professor pay third best among U.S. public universities"

  • anniemouse Nov 18, 2011

    I have a solution. Stop ALL funding for athletics. Pay the coaching staff the same as teachers, use the savings to pay for more teachers and education scholarships. Use 75 cents out of every dollar in game ticket sales to go to education...something that actually has a value to society.
    A few guys chasing around a bag of wind does not add anything to making the US more competitive in the world market.
    The arguement that sports brings money to the institution is bogus as well...the money just ends up in a few pockets. If those few want a sports program, let the alumni pay for it...put your money where your mouth is.

  • T-3485 Nov 17, 2011

    America is no longer based on markets and capitalism, instead our economy is designed as 'socialism for the rich' – it is designed to ensure that the wealthiest people take all of the gains, while regular Americans cover any losses

  • arfamr1007 Nov 17, 2011

    although I'm a BIG UNC fan....I'm surprised that such a liberal school would raise personal tuition that much....I don't disagree a bit with it, but am still VERY surprised that the entitlement crowd would do this.

  • Alex25 Nov 17, 2011

    And before all the right wingers come back and say the trader is not being paid out of tax money, no, he's not. But like I said, all he's done is shuffle money around, created no true value other than bucks for speculators, and the public still has to pay. Can't get to work without gas, can't build that shop without steel, can't wire that factory without copper.
    You have Choices.

    Stash your money beneath your mattress. Nobody is forced to make investments on Wall St...stop the hate, stop the war on success, and stop the hate.

  • miseem Nov 17, 2011

    Let's see. The head of a major public university, with over 25,000 students, thousands of faculty and support staff should not be making $500,000 per year, but a hot shot commodities trader gets a multi-million dollar bonus for shuffling money around and increasing prices on everything the public buys has earned his money. And before all the right wingers come back and say the trader is not being paid out of tax money, no, he's not. But like I said, all he's done is shuffle money around, created no true value other than bucks for speculators, and the public still has to pay. Can't get to work without gas, can't build that shop without steel, can't wire that factory without copper. The public just has to eat the higher prices. At least with the university, value is being created and if the head officials become too unpopular, the public can get them removed through political pressure. Not much the public can do about investment banks, especially with the GOP blocking legislation

  • readme Nov 17, 2011

    Education is the next big bubble. Maybe this will slow it down a bit. Now if only the federal government would stop making it so easy to borrow so much against your future life savings. Time to beef up a high school education and realize some people just don't belong in college.