UNC-CH and N.C. State are the only schools in the UNC system that do not have monthly installment plans.
Some concrete details are still being discussed, but the proposal on the table at UNC-CH would allow students to divide their yearly tuition bill into payments over the course of five, 10 or 12 months. The plan would be available for the fall 2002 semester, and payments could start as early as June 1 for students choosing the 12-month plan.
Both proposed plans still would allow students to continue paying in one lump sum at the beginning of each semester.
Dennis Press, a UNC-CH controller, said the option would be beneficial to students. "It is an effort to continually look at the services we provide and improve them," Press said.
He said the University would contract with a private company, which would charge students an additional $40 to $55, to administer the service.
George Worsley, N.C. State vice chancellor for finance and business, said the campus is considering the change because of student and parent demands.
"This is something both students and parents have asked for," he said. "Instead of one lump sum, students can spread it out over time."
The N.C. State Board of Trustees could approve the plan at its meeting today.
Worsley said the economic slowdown has also been an impetus to create the new payment options. "With the economy the way it is, we need to be sensitive to families in North Carolina," he said.
Although both UNC-CH and N.C. State trustees are expected to ask the UNC-system Board of Governors to raise tuition by $400 for the 2002-03 academic year, officials at both campuses say the different payment proposals are unrelated to increases in tuition.
Unlike the proposed tuition increase, the pay change plan is receiving mostly positive reviews from UNC-CH students.
Emily Ransom, a UNC-CH freshman from Rolesville, said she thinks the plan could benefit students, particularly those who receive financial aid.
"I know a lot of people who have to hold out for financial aid money," Ransom said. "This would give them a chance to not be stressed at the beginning of the semester with money."
But Luke Selden, a UNC-CH sophomore from Virginia Beach, Va., said he is skeptical of the plan. He wondered how the University would react to students who did not keep up with all of their payments.
"It would be a headache to deal with," Selden said. "What would they do if people failed to pay?"
Selden said he also disapproves of the use of private companies to administer the plan. "It's basically letting private companies give out loans."
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