Education

Bowles: UNC campuses must fight to keep tuition money

Posted October 7, 2010

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— University of North Carolina President Erskine Bowles said Thursday that leaders of the system's 16 university campuses should be prepared to fight to keep tuition money in the coming year.

Fiscal analysts have projected a $3 billion to $3.5 billion state budget deficit for fiscal 2011-12, which starts next July. Gov. Beverly Perdue has already asked state agencies to outline spending cuts of up to 15 percent in their budgets, and Bowles asked chancellors Thursday to prepare to cut 10 percent from each university's budget.

UNC System Logo Bowles: UNC campuses must fight to keep tuition money

UNC system rules currently prohibit a campus from raising tuition more than 6.5 percent a year. The Board of Governors is reviewing that policy, but members said Thursday that they are inclined to maintain that cap.

Bowles, who retires at the end of the year, has long been committed to keeping tuition low, and he has said he believes it shouldn't be the primary source of revenue for campuses.

He said campuses need to take a firm stand with lawmakers next year to ensure that they keep any extra revenue generated through a tuition increase, rather than sending the money to the state's General Fund.

"This year, I think that, as you all go to fight for our budget in the legislature, you are going to have to fight really, really hard for us to keep the tuition on the campuses," he said. "I think you should do that. That's one of the things I want you to really think about because, if you don't, we are going to have an enormous erosion in quality around here."

The Board of Governors will make decisions about tuition guidelines and the UNC system budget in upcoming meetings.

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  • elcid liked Ike Oct 8, 2010

    I do have to say this though - the UNC system offers one of the cheapest in-state tuitions in the country, and for the flagships that's an amazing bargain. Folks there really don't know how good they actually have it.

  • elcid liked Ike Oct 8, 2010

    "So why would the universities pass this tuition increase on to their students if they weren't going to get the money?"

    The slight hope that they might get it in the future (which they did, at least in 2009.) All bets are off for the beginning year though.

  • Moth Ball Oct 8, 2010

    "Since when did the tuition monies go into the general fund?"

    "The general assembly basically took the last tuition increase. They allowed the system to raise tuition, but mandated that the increase be directed to the general fund. The universities saw none of the increase."

    So why would the universities pass this tuition increase on to their students if they weren't going to get the money? I can only think of two - Naively believing the economy was going to return to pre - 2008 conditions before the end of the FY and the legislators would smilingly return the money to them or, they greedily allowed this increase to pass through all the while bemoaning how badly they hated to increase tuition in these difficult times but, pssst, for us it will eventually result in more monies. Oh, wait! Maybe the GA saw a new, untapped source of hidden tax revenue.

  • mpheels Oct 8, 2010

    "If you shop around you can find many great schools out of state that also cost less but provide a great education."

    The UNC system had some of the lowest tuition in the country for in-state and out-of-state students. I don't know of any University that charges out-of-state students less than $6500/year for tuition and fees, which is the most an NC resident will pay for a year as a full time undergrad at a UNC system school in 2010-2011.

    To put it in perspective, a full-time (15 credit hours) semester of courses online through University of Phoenix costs $9000. A full year is $18000 - nearly 3 times the cost of one year at NCSU or UNC.

  • elcid liked Ike Oct 8, 2010

    ""Just remember you can get the same education on line for 1/2 the price. If you shop around you can find many great schools out of state that also cost less but provide a great education.""

    You may believe that all schools are viewed as equivalent, but I can promise you that they are not.

  • corey3rd Oct 8, 2010

    So, I'm curious where you can get a four year degree for $3,000 a year.

    Simple - go to NC State in 1992.

  • mpnolin Oct 8, 2010

    "Just remember you can get the same education on line for 1/2 the price. If you shop around you can find many great schools out of state that also cost less but provide a great education."
    The current tuition and fees at NCSU, which is one of the most expensive schools in the UNC system, is $6,000 a year. So, I'm curious where you can get a four year degree for $3,000 a year.

  • elcid liked Ike Oct 8, 2010

    "Since when did the tuition monies go into the general fund?"

    The general assembly basically took the last tuition increase. They allowed the system to raise tuition, but mandated that the increase be directed to the general fund. The universities saw none of the increase.

  • Sherlock Oct 8, 2010

    Just remember you can get the same education on line for 1/2 the price. If you shop around you can find many great schools out of state that also cost less but provide a great education.

  • flickithard Oct 8, 2010

    How can tuition money goot the general fund?

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