UNC students protest proposed tuition hike

Posted February 11, 2011

— About 20 students protested in Chapel Hill Friday as the University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved proposals to increase tuition and cut dozens of programs at public universities across the state in order to prepare for state budget cuts.

Administrators sought to cut programs and raise tuition after the governor instructed them to prepare for budget cuts of 5 to 10 percent. The state faces a budget shortfall estimated on Wednesday to be $2.7 billion.

The students, some from as far away as Appalachian State University, met with UNC system president Tom Ross, who said leaders are doing their best to keep college affordable in the face of state budget cuts.

"We are constantly trying to balance the need for educational excellence with trying to keep tuition as low as possible," Ross said, noting that tuition increases are never taken lightly.

Students protest tuition hikes planned for UNC System Students protest tuition hikes planned for UNC System

A former UNC-Chapel Hill student said she had dropped out because she could no longer afford school.

The proposed tuition increases, ranging from 5 to 6.5 percent, must be approved by the General Assembly.

Thirteen campuses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University and Fayetteville State, sought the maximum allowed tuition increase of 6.5 percent. North Carolina State University asked for a 6.2 percent hike, and North Carolina Central University for a 5 percent raise.

The increases would add $313 to this year's undergraduate tuition of $4,800 at UNC-Chapel Hill and $170 to this year's tuition of $2,600 at North Carolina A&T State University.

Ross said, "I'm certainly sympathetic with their views that tuition has gone up a lot in the last several years, but I'm also of the firm view, belief, that the University of North Carolina has to be and has to continue to be one of the nation's leading, if not the leading public university."

Schools that decided to spread out special increases that kicked in last year will see double-digit increases this fall.

What is still unclear is if money from the tuition increases will be returned to the campuses. North Carolina lawmakers could decide to put that back into the state’s General Fund.

The Board of Governors also voted to cut 60 degree programs at universities across the system.

"Those programs are being eliminated in a way that won't damage students," Ross said. "Some of those are combined into other oppportunities for students."

In January, Ross ordered a review to identify programs that had low demand or were offered at too many schools throughout the system.

The Board also approved two new degrees – a bachelor of arts in journalism for business reporting at UNC-Chapel Hill and a masters in nano-engineering at NCA&T. As well, they gave formal approval to NCCU's B.A. in public administration that was created in 2004.


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  • carrboroyouth Feb 15, 2011

    Looks like some of Mommy and Daddy's precious little babies are going go have to get a job to help pay for school. - Bullfrog

    They could get jobs at McDonalds to help mom and dad pay for the increase or would that be out of the question. They would have to park their Volvos in the back parking lot - mrscrosby

    Wow. Have you not heard that jobs are a bit scarce these days? Ohh no, must be must easier to assume that we students are lazy and not competing for positions with unemployed individuals older than us, with more experience, and often with degrees (the degrees we're trying to get at our public universities for an AFFORDABLE price).

    Sorry if this sounds whiny but those comments really rubbed me the wrong way. It took me over a year to find my job while in school, and I have to take the TTA express in order to get there because its so far away.

    That's right mrscrosby, I don't have a car. My parents can't afford to get me one, and I am trying to save up for that down payment...

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Feb 11, 2011

    "Thankfully, those short-sighted right wing politicians have been exposed for the selfish hypocrites that they are "

    Yep, they want me to keep more of my hard earned money.

  • Sherlock Feb 11, 2011

    When to school out of state and only had 1 hike in 6 yrs. The state sch system is just after money.

  • geosol Feb 11, 2011

    Yes, let's try to destroy the cornerstone of economic growth in modern North Carolina - an affordable, world-class higher education system while the right wing offers tax breaks to their ultra-rich benefactors. Thankfully, those short-sighted right wing politicians have been exposed for the selfish hypocrites that they are and we will be rid of them in just 2 short years and we will restore the UNC system that they are trying so hard to destroy.

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Feb 11, 2011

    Liberalism = Protesting to get other people's money.

  • Big Mike Feb 11, 2011

    You can protest till the the end of time, but fact is that the tuition will go up, the system will turn it's head!

  • TheAdmiral Feb 11, 2011

    Well students - welcome to the real world. Now that you understand that as the price of everything goes up - you need to plan for it beforehand and stop whining about it - you can now turn the corner and get that extra hour at Buckies as a barista to pay your college tuition.

  • ThatGuyAgain Feb 11, 2011

    Twenty??? Why is this a news story?

  • 6079 SMITH W Feb 11, 2011

    See also: NEWSCORP

  • mjeffrey Feb 11, 2011

    according to the N&O those 20 were late, protesting after the fact. So it had even less effect.