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The Daily Tar Heel

ASU Eyes Increase In Tuition

ASU administrators are now considering a $200 tuition increase. The ASU Board of Trustees is expected to consider the proposed increase in December.

Last year, five system schools raised tuition. The ASU proposal comes almost exactly a year after UNC-Chapel Hill trustees voted for the first of the five tuition increases.

The Board of Governors eventually approved a $600 increase at UNC-CH that is being phased in this year and next. Last year's increases left some fearful that additional campuses would request tuition increases this year.

If an individual campus decides to request a tuition increase, the request must be presented to the UNC General Administration in December. It will be sent to the BOG later for consideration.

But ASU spokesman Bob Shaffer said last year's tuition hikes did not affect ASU's decision to consider its own tuition increase. Shaffer added that ASU had the opportunity to initiate a campus tuition increase a year ago but did not.

He said the increase would allow ASU to remain competitive with peer institutions by funding student financial aid, technology and faculty salaries.

Boosting faculty salaries was the reasoning behind last year's increases.

Andrew Payne, president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, said last year's campus-initiated increases created a trickle-down effect. "The Board of Governors has really opened up a Pandora's box."

He also said last year's tuition increases allowed some universities to get ahead of others, and some institutions felt the need to catch up by using campus-initiated tuition increases.

J.B. Milliken, UNC-system vice president of public affairs, said he was not yet aware of any official campus tuition requests but would not be surprised if system administrators received additional campuses' tuition requests this year.

Payne said he had heard that administrators at Western Carolina University and UNC-Greensboro also are considering similar increases.

But Shaffer said ASU's tuition, which is $2,100 a year, is lower than most peer institutions. "For the university to remain competitive, we're looking at raising expenses."

Ryan Bolick, president of ASU student government, said he has not taken an official stance because of the tentative nature of the proposal. "We want whatever we do to be reflective of the interests of the student body," he said.

Bolick said the student government formed a committee to explore the proposed increase. "Overall, students don't seem to be directly opposed to the idea of a tuition increase," Bolick said.

But he added that most students were not yet educated about the increase.

Last year, many student leaders strongly opposed tuition increase proposals.

Payne said he plans to fight this increase and any others coming down the pipe. "They are truly outrageous," he said. "They hit students in the pockets."

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