BOG to hammer out details of tuition hike for UNC System
Posted February 9, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Despite protests by students and a warning from President Barack Obama that schools could lose funding if they don't find a way to keep costs down, the UNC Board of Governors will meet Thursday morning to hammer out the details of proposed tuition increases that UNC System leaders say they can't do without.
The BOG will meet in committees Thursday to discuss the impact of budgets cuts on the UNC System before voting on recommended tuition increases for each of the system's 16 schools. (Watch UNC Board of Governors committee meetings beginning at 11 a.m. live on WRAL.com.)
In January, Tom Ross, the president of the UNC System, called for a tuition increases to average about 8.8 percent next year. For most in-state undergraduates, that would mean an average increase of about $470.
But leaders at the individual campuses in the system say they need much more to make up the $414 million cut by state legislators last year.
A UNC System report on the impact of reduced funding shows a loss of more than 3,000 jobs across the system, and reduced library hours at Appalachian State University and UNC-Wilmington.
The recommendations by Ross and the demands by campus leaders for more funds have generated a strong response from students, who have protested the proposed rate hikes. Last week, dozens of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students protested the potential increases.
"Budget cuts are falling on the backs of students," said Amanda Ellis, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. "We're going to be the leaders of this country, and if we don't have access to proper education, there's no way we can do that."
Representatives of the state chapter of the NAACP joined students in calling on the Board of Governors to reject the tuition proposals and seek more support from state lawmakers.
"The more the UNC system fails to stand up to such shameful cuts to education and such a shameful elimination of educational grants and financial aid, the more the system punishes its students," Curtis Gatewood of the NAACP said.
Ross has said his tuition recommendations would generate $70 million in total revenue for the campuses.
Out-of-state undergraduate students can expect an increase next fall averaging 5.2 percent, increasing their bill by $923 to $17,995. Campuses are generally limited to admitting no more than 18 percent of a freshman class' students from outside North Carolina.