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The Daily Tar Heel

Out-of-state students feel pinch

Correction (March 28 10:43 p.m.): Due to a reporting error, this story misstates the percentage tuition increase being proposed for nonresident graduate students. It is 3.7 percent. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

Out-of-state students are likely to see the University commit to a plan of increasing their tuition by about $1,400 at a meeting today.

This year’s tuition discussion has focused solely on out-of-state students, which has angered many of these students and raised the issue of their role on campus. And these students are trying to make their case heard before it is too late.

Out-of-state students bring money and prestige, but many feel that they’ve been pinched in a trend of rising tuition and wonder what their role is at UNC.

In-state students’ increases have been set at $200 by the state legislature. This money, as well as $200 from all out-of-state students, will go into the state’s coffers instead of returning to the school.

But schools were given the opportunity to increase out-of-state students’ tuition, which administrators have suggested doing by up to $1,414.30 to offset the lost revenue from in-state students. Tuition increases will support financial aid, faculty retention, academic services and graduate student support.

An increase on out-of-state students can provide the money necessary to fund UNC’s priorities. Administrators are lobbying for control of the state-mandated $200 increase, though that is mostly dependent on the state’s economy next year.

Still, some students see the additional tuition burden as unfair.

“They think that out-of-state students are cash cows, and they’re not,” said Out-of-State Student Association President Ryan Morgan. “We’re just as much a part of the University as they are. We may be from out of state and don’t pay taxes, but we bring the talent to the University.”

The association and other organizations plan to rally in front of South Building today while tuition plans are being discussed. They use tuition increases as an example of unfair treatment and point out ways in which nonresident students contribute to UNC, in terms that are both easy and difficult to quantify.

Nonresident students scored an average of 43 points higher on the SAT than in-state students this year. Many are highly involved in campus organizations and generally bring UNC a sense of prestige and competitiveness that contributes to bringing high-quality students from in- and out-of-state.

Nonresident students have won nine of the last 10 Rhodes Scholarships awarded to UNC students.

“The out-of-state students are just better,” economics professor Boone Turchi said. “That’s no ding on the in-state students, but it’s a wider applicant pool.”

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