The letter, written by Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield, was sent to all UNC students and explained that students should expect to receive two more tuition bills before the end of the semester -- the first of which accompanied the letter.
The two tuition bills reflect a retroactive tuition increase that the Board of Governors finalized Sept. 14. The increase amounts to $47 a semester for in-state students and $460 for out-of-state students.
Students will receive the first bill this week for the additional tuition owed for the fall 2001 semester, and then they will receive a second bill -- tentatively scheduled to be sent in mid-November -- for the spring 2002 semester.
The second bill will include both normal tuition and the increase recently passed by the legislature. The payment for the fall bill is due Nov. 15, and the payment for the spring bill is due Dec. 10.
The exact increase was not finalized in time to be included on the fall 2001 bill, and UNC officials say sending two bills will be easier than sending just one that would include the spring tuition cost and the retroactive fall increase.
Tommy Womble, assistant director of student accounts, said the November deadline should give students plenty of time to come up with the needed funds.
"We are extending the due date to November 15th, which will give students time to go to student aid and get help," he said.
Shirley Ort, director of scholarships and student aid, said her department is prepared to ease most of the burden for students in need of financial assistance because of the increase.
"We are asking all of our students, whether in-state or out-of-state, to absorb the first $100 of the increase," Ort said.
She said the remainder of the increase will be covered in a variety of ways. If in-state students want a loan increase, the financial aid office will increase the loan, provided that the student is eligible.
Out-of-state students who deserve financial aid can expect the remaining $820 to be covered by the aid office.
Ort said undergraduate students should be able to handle the tuition increase, but she is concerned about graduate students, who are facing increases that range from $49 to $177.50 for in-state students and $602 to $1,386 for out-of-state students. "We are left with nothing more than loan increases for graduate students," Ort said.
But Sandra Hoeflich, spokeswoman for graduate students, said many students will not have trouble paying the increase. "Most graduate students are supported through being teaching assistants or research assistants," she said. "So they won't be paying the increase directly."
Womble said students likely can come up with the money because the increase was expected. "We haven't gotten any questions from students so far," he said. "I don't think it will be a problem because students have been anticipating it."
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