House approves in-state tuition rates for athletic scholarship students
Posted October 29, 2019 5:21 a.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2019 3:48 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Restoration of an old state law allowing University of North Carolina system campuses to treat out-of-state students with full athletic scholarships like in-state students has cleared one legislative chamber.
The House voted 88-19 on Monday night for the measure to repeal a 2010 state law that prevented the in-state tuition designation, which would generally benefit athletic booster clubs that cover the scholarships. In-state tuition is subsidized by the state.
But critics say somebody – namely taxpayers – would have to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, an amount that could reach millions of dollars a year annually.
Bill supporters say it's a matter of fairness, since out-of-state students who receive full academic scholarships are already treated as in-state students.
Rep. John Hardister, R-Guilford, called the proposal a jobs bill, saying smaller UNC schools could recruit better athletes, boosting sales of game tickets, school apparel and other items.
But Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, called it "terrible policy," noting that booster clubs at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and East Carolina University have huge budgets and can afford paying out-of-state rates. Her amendment to limit the lower in-state rates to smaller campuses was defeated, however.
The bill now goes to the Senate.