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The Daily Tar Heel

Tuition Hike Draws Varied UNC Reaction

While some say they see the need for the increase, others dislike the retroactive nature of part of the 9 percent increase.

Ludicrous. Necessary. Bothersome.

These were the words some students used to describe the 9 percent tuition hike, which is partially retroactive, approved by the N.C. General Assembly on Wednesday night.

According to the continuing budget resolution, tuition will increase about $200 a year for in-state undergraduates and about $1,000 a year for out-of-state students beginning with the current semester. Gov. Mike Easley signed the bill into law Thursday.

Although many students said they are unhappy with some aspects of the increase, others said it is justified in the name of improving the University. Most students with concerns said they are especially angered by the fact that they will have to dip into their wallets again to pay for this semester.

"This is an appalling policy," said senior Stanley Olshefski, from Levittown, Penn. "Students should know what the tuition is going to be before the semester begins."

Sophomore Jon Gurkin, from Smithfield, also said he feels betrayed by the officials who passed the retroactive increase. "I lose all trust in the University and the government system," Gurkin said. "How can they do that?"

Other students said they are worried about how the increase will affect students on financial aid for this semester.

Jason Waller, a junior from Beulaville, said he thinks the financial aid office needs to make sure it accommodates students. "If they're going to increase tuition, the financial aid department needs to increase its efforts," he said.

Students also are disturbed by the large difference between the in-state and out-of-state increases.

"It really shows a lack of respect for a significant part of the (University) community," said Derek Vanderpool, a junior from Baton Rouge, La. "It's getting to the point where I'm going to a state school paying almost as much as a private school."

Junior Aimee Brown, from Asheville, said she enjoys the benefits of being in-state but does not necessarily agree with the disparity in the tuition hike. "My gut reaction is it's good, as an in-state student," Brown said. "But out-of-state students bring a lot of diversity that in-state students don't have (as a group)."

Despite these concerns, many students said they agree there is a need for an increase. Although they said they understand that the money is only a stopgap for the state's financial woes, some students said they would rather see the money help attract quality faculty and increase the rate of campus facility improvement.

"I think if they'll use it for something that will benefit the school it's fine," said Katy Poole, a junior from Kinston. "If it will make the construction go away faster, then it's worth it."

Other students said they had simply resigned themselves to the fact that education is expensive. Sarah Durr, a sophomore from Stedman, said she thinks more money is necessary to improve the University and that students should not expect tax dollars to cover it.

She said, "People have to understand that money's got to come from somewhere."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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