CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The price tag for students attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is about to go up.
Wednesday night, the Board of Trustees approved a much-debated tuition hike.
It apparently was a tough decision for the trustees. They said they received hundreds of e-mails from students and parents pleading with them to reject the tuition hike.
Ultimately, after three hours of discussions, the trustees decided the university needed that money.
That was not what some faculty and students wanted to hear.
"As they say, we shouldn't have to shoulder the burden of in-state students," student Jesse Prentice-Dunn said. "I don't think that's fair."
Said student Bernard Holloway: "It's an issue of whether my parents can afford to pay it, or I stay here and try to keep paying the tuition."
Fair or not, Chancellor James Moeser sounded the alarm. He said the university needs money to retain its professors.
Last year, UNC lost two of every three professors who were courted by well-funded private institutions.
The tuition hike will cost local students an additional $300 in the fall.
Out-of-state students, roughly 18 percent of the student body, are looking at a $1,500 increase.
In total, the money could generate more than $15 million to the university's budget.
"If we want to continue to deliver that excellence, we've got to be able to keep our faculty, keep our class sizes small," said Board of Trustees Chairman Richard "Stick" Williams. "We've got to deliver that excellence."
Many out-of-state students WRAL spoke with said the tuition hike could send them back home.
Others, like Kerri Nelson, felt they weren't being treated fairly.
"It was the bargain that they speak of that I came here for," Nelson said.
The additional money will cover resources like faculty salaries and need-based student aid.
The one-year increase will kick in this fall. There could be a tuition hike next year, as well.
The current proposal must be approved by the Board of Governors.