Parents of youngsters worry they'll be priced out of college education
Posted February 10, 2012
Updated February 11, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The tuition hike passed Friday by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors resonated far beyond the 16 campuses of the UNC System.
Parents whose children are a decade or more from matriculation are already worried that the cost of college may put a degree out of reach.
"It is getting out of whack," said Cuttino Fowler.
The recommendation, which must be ratified by state lawmakers, would increase tuition and fees by more than $400 on average in 2012-13 for each student in UNC System schools. Families like Jody Brannon's will pay it several times over.
"I have two in college, two in high school and two I have to home-school," she said.
Brannon estimates a year's tuition and fees for one child cost her family about $18,000. They must take that money from other expenses. "We go out for dinner a lot less," she said. "We shop and buy clothes at Target instead of the mall. We look for sales."
Fowler is looking at alternatives to four years at university for his two daughters. He said they might have to attend community college instead.
UNC System President Tom Ross said Thursday that the UNC BOG struggled with the idea of raising fees.
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. Parents worry about future college costs
Budget cuts last year 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.