Administrators are looking to increase tuition for out-of-state undergraduate students next year by $1,126.68.
That number, which interim Provost Bruce Carney referred to as a “working figure,” represents an almost 5.2 percent increase in out-of-state tuition, which would be used primarily to support faculty salaries and to give more financial aid.
That number has a long way to go before it is finalized. It must be approved by a committee of students and administrators, the UNC Board of Trustees, the system’s Board of Governors and the N.C. General Assembly.
Graduate students’ tuition would go up by $731.98 for out-of-state students and $200 for in-state students, except for departments that already had increases for next year approved by the Board of Governors.
In-state student tuition for next year will increase by $200, a number set by state law. If the increases are approved, in-state and out-of-state tuition would rise roughly the same percentage.
“Instead of equating dollars, we’re going to equate percentages, and this is what you get,” Carney said at the first meeting of the tuition and fee advisory task force on Monday. The task force is scheduled to meet again Oct. 30.
Officials said increasing out-of-state tuition — which would bring UNC about $4.1 million in revenue — is necessary to support faculty salaries and student aid.
The number of students who qualify for financial aid this year rose 23 percent. Last year the number only increased 2 percent.
“Will it help us keep pace?” Carney said. “The answer, frankly, is no. But it may be all we can do in the coming year.”
Student Body President Jasmin Jones asked the question that Carney said will drive the next two task force meetings: Are the increases justified?
“We’ll just need to assess it and maybe give our own recommendation,” she said. “I just want to see how this is meeting the needs of the students.”
Upping the increase
In the state budget, the N.C. legislature mandated that tuition for every student increase by $200. It capped resident student increases there, but out-of-state students weren’t afforded that guarantee.
The mandated $200 increase goes to the state’s general fund, an effort by politicians to help close North Carolina’s budget hole. But any out-of-state increase above that would go back to the University.
University officials previously said they would charge out-of-state students only the mandated $200 increase, but they began eyeing out-of-state students as a source for money that would stay on campus.
Student fees also took another step toward approval. The $96.01 increase for campus services was approved unanimously and will next be sent to the chancellor.
Proposed tuition increases
Nonresident undergrad increase: $1,127
Total tuition: $22,880
Nonresident graduate increase: $732
Total tuition: $20,543
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