Local News

Some Local Colleges See Enrollment, Tuition Rise

Posted August 18, 2007 7:12 p.m. EDT

— College and university campuses in the Triangle were buzzing with activity again Saturday as students at UNC, N.C. State and Meredith College moved into their dorms.

N.C. State is expecting about 4,750 freshmen - the largest in State's history. Mimi Wheeler was one of them, and she spent Saturday moving into her seventh floor dorm room on campus.

“I’m just from a small town, and I want to get away, and I want to meet all kinds of new people,” she said.

State’s freshman class includes 71 valedictorians and 67 salutatorians, according to school officials. The class also includes students from 99 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, 39 states and 29 countries.

“More students apply here from North Carolina than any other school in the state,” said NCSU Provost Larry Nielsen.

Meredith College also welcomed its largest freshmen class. More than 460 freshmen flooded the campus, including Shanita Hobbs.

“Now we’re the class of 2011, and I’m ready for the college experience,” she said.

That experience is getting more expensive. A UNC system-wide tuition hike will kick in this fall. N.C. State saw the largest increase in the Triangle - nearly 7 percent. Tuition and fees for the students will be around $5,000.

That cost doesn’t include meals, books, room and board and all the stuff that goes into a dorm room. Parents WRAL spoke with said the total cost per semester is more like $10,000 to $15,000.

Nielsen said the hike is necessary to meet the needs of students.

“We are still one of the best bargains in the U.S. for a higher education degree,” he said.

For that reason, freshman Sara Rettick said she is sticking with N.C. State. What she wants to do with her life is a different picture.

“I’m an accounting major now, but I’m sure it’ll probably change,” she said, laughing.

Classes at N.C. State and Meredith start Wednesday. UNC students begin Tuesday. N.C. Central students go to classes Monday, and Duke students start the Aug. 27.