Education

UNC system committee: Raise tuition by average of 8.8 percent

Posted February 9, 2012

— A University of North Carolina Board of Governors committee on Thursday recommended raising tuition and fees at all campuses by an average of 8.8 percent. The full board will vote Friday, and then it will go before lawmakers.

The Budget and Finance Committee agreed with UNC President Tom Ross' recommendation to raise tuition and fees by more than $400 on average for the 2012-13 school year.

"Our board is struggling. We are all struggling with this decision," Ross said.

Student groups from across the state are planning to march Friday, just before the Board of Governors votes on the proposed increases.

"This has not been an easy process at all," said board chairwoman Hannah Gage. "As I said, we've got members of our board that wanted zero percent. We've got members of our board that thought the market should drive and it should go as high as possible."

UNC tuition could go up nearly 9 percent UNC tuition could go up nearly 9 percent

The cost increases Ross recommended are well below what some campus leaders said they needed and will make up just 17 percent of the $414 million cut by state legislators last year.

The budget cut forced the 16 university campuses and the School of Science and Math in Durham to drop more than 3,000 employees, cut library hours at Appalachian State University and UNC-Wilmington and prevent hundreds of North Carolina Central University students from enrolling in general education math courses, according to a UNC system report.

Undergraduate North Carolina resident students pay an average tuition and fees of $5,294 a year, not including books and living expenses. It is higher at the system's two flagship schools, with UNC-Chapel Hill students paying $6,823 and North Carolina State University charging $6,964.

The bills would increase by 4.3 percent, or $199, next year at UNC-Pembroke. At the high end, costs would rise by 9.9 percent at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Asheville, Winston-Salem State University, Western Carolina University and the UNC School of the Arts. That means tuition increases ranging from $447 at WSSU to $676 at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The average increase would be less than the 9.3 percent hike approved last year. The university board has wrestled with overshooting a self-imposed limit on tuition increases of 6.5 percent a year.

Ross proposed increasing tuition by another 4.2 percent on average for the 2013-14 academic year, though Fayetteville State University students would see no further increase.

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.

60 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Plenty Coups Feb 10, 3:47 p.m.

    "Tuition increases every year and by no small percentage, in the good years mind you, where the budget had money to blow."

    Some increases are due to colleges adding more student demanded services and yes, more administrative costs. Costs have gone up. But the point remains, show me where democrats have raised it more than 8.8 percent? Why would republicans cut revenue when the need for education spending is so great? Why do they propose more tax cuts for next year?

  • Nancy Feb 10, 10:03 a.m.

    "The Republican-led General Assembly is the one who made Draconian cuts to the university and community-college systems last year. Admittedly, Democrats are guilty of this as well in previous years, but the cuts accelerated under Republicans." - jason

    Explain then, if you will, why tuition went up every year well beyond the inflation rate while this state was under the control of Democrats? Indeed, a plan was set in motion as recently as 2006 by Erskine Bowles to keep increases below or no higher than 6.5% - in years where our state was not so financially in the hole?

    Tuition increases every year and by no small percentage, in the good years mind you, where the budget had money to blow.

  • jason19 Feb 10, 9:24 a.m.

    "Its time we put a stop to the increasing costs for the UNC system schools. This is one of the crown jewels of this state and is one of the main reasons why we have enjoyed an influx of high tech industries and jobs. Its time to get serious about funding education again instead of cuts to teachers and services and increasing fees to the students. VOTE AGAINST ALL DEMOCRATS IN EVERY RACE!!!"

    If that's what I wanted, then why would I vote against Democrats? The Republican-led General Assembly is the one who made Draconian cuts to the university and community-college systems last year. Admittedly, Democrats are guilty of this as well in previous years, but the cuts accelerated under Republicans.

  • jason19 Feb 10, 9:21 a.m.

    "When was it decided that a college education should be free? Are these 'students' not educated enough to understand that the 'bottomless pit of money' does not exist? There are cold, hard facts of life to face here and people need to understand personal responsibility."--arnold54

    Some people need to understand personal responsibility, and some people need to understand societal responsibility. Having an educated workforce at an affordable cost is good for *society* as a whole, not only for the individuals who actually get the education. If you think having a large swaths of students defaulting on their loans because they cannot afford them after college won't negatively affect you, then you have been living a different reality the past four years.

  • arnold54 Feb 10, 9:02 a.m.

    When was it decided that a college education should be free? Are these "students" not educated enough to understand that the "bottomless pit of money" does not exist? There are cold, hard facts of life to face here and people need to understand personal responsibility.

  • jplace Feb 10, 8:35 a.m.

    Oh come on. The university has faced massive funding cuts over the past few years. This is due to the economy period. Hundreds of people have been laid off. Before you continue whining about how it will make more students suffer, think about the people who have lost their jobs (including faculty) and the increased teaching loads of faculty. These cuts do not make education better. The Trustees have to balance tuition with what it costs to run the system. We are all in it together. Until we stop draconian cuts from the state (much worse since the Republicans took control), revenue has to come from somewhere else.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Feb 10, 8:23 a.m.

    For those that have posted the cost of a college education and only show tuition need a wake call. The cost of food (meal plans), books, housing and FEES has been raising every year for at least the last 9 years.

    While I am glad my children get the experience I often wonder would we have been better off buying lotto tickets or going to Vegas .

  • Nancy Feb 9, 7:43 p.m.

    History shows there have always been increases, even when the state funded them well - explain that away.

    "In 2006, UNC-system President Erskine Bowles set in place the Four Year Tuition Plan, which established guidelines for tuition increases within the UNC system. The plan holds university administrators accountable for keeping the tuition increases at or below a 6.5 percent cap for undergraduate resident students.

    After the tuition plan was set to expire at the end of this year, the UNC-system Board of Governors adopted a Second Four-Year Plan, which allows schools to ask for tuition increases above the cap for undergraduate in-state students in times of need."

  • Plenty Coups Feb 9, 7:31 p.m.

    "Its time to get serious about funding education again instead of cuts to teachers and services and increasing fees to the students. VOTE AGAINST ALL DEMOCRATS IN EVERY RACE!!!"

    When was the last time republicans ever voted to increase funding for education?

  • working for deadbeats Feb 9, 7:19 p.m.

    Darn iPhone typing! Last comment didnt turn out quite right. Haha

More...