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The Daily Tar Heel

Share the tuition burden: Graduate senate should vote to support equal tuition increases for in- and out-of-state students

The tuition and fee advisory task force should encourage UNC administrators to vote for equal tuition increases for all graduate students instead of placing the entire burden on out-of-state students.

The Graduate and Professional Student Federation Senate is split on whether to support equal tuition increases for all graduate students or to place the entire increase on out-of-state students.

The Senate’s recommendation gives the tuition and fee advisory task force an idea of what they will suggest to the chancellor at a meeting this Wednesday regarding tuition increases for the 2010-11 school year.

Not only is an equal tuition increase for in-state and out-of-state graduate students fair, it spreads out the financial burden and lessens the adverse effects that tuition increases have on the caliber of graduate students the University admits.

The lesser the monetary burden of tuition increases, the more likely prospective students will want to attend.

Unlike the undergraduate population, approximately 24 percent of graduate students are not N.C. residents. An entirely out-of-state tuition increase would alienate a quarter of the graduate student population.

In addition, although out-of-state tuition is higher, many out-of-state graduate students receive tuition remission that covers the difference between in-state and out-of-state costs. Many departments cover that cost.

If the entire increase is placed on out-of-state students, greater burden will be placed on departments that must cover the higher cost difference of subsidizing out-of-state students who receive tuition remission.

If the University must increase tuition in order to cover its costs — costs that are generated by all students — then it is only fair to increase tuition proportionately across the board.

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