A recommendation to the UNC-system Board of Governors to charge tuition by the credit hour could inhibit students from taking more classes.
The board is expected to discus changes to the system’s tuition policy at its meeting Thursday. Although charging tuition according to credit hours is on the table, board members are hesitant to approve it as a system-wide policy.
This year, members of the board are reviewing the Four Year Tuition Plan, which was set in place by UNC-system President Erskine Bowles in 2006 to make the tuition process more predictable and structured.
Possible changes to the plan stem from recommendations made by a tuition task force comprised of UNC-system representatives.
Julie Mallette, associate vice provost and director of scholarships and financial aid at N.C. State University, said in an e-mail that charging students by the credit hour has been an ongoing discussion within the university system.
“Probably the biggest negative is that students who typically take more than 12 credit hours per semester may have to pay more for tuition,” said Mallette, who is also a member of the task force. “We will not know that for sure until a per credit hour tuition rate is determined.”
UNC-system undergraduate credit hours are currently set up in a tiered system — students taking fewer than 5 credit hours pay less than students taking 6 to 8 hours and those taking 9 to 11 hours. Students taking 12 credit hours or more are charged a flat fee, which differs among universities.
While many board members plan to follow the work group’s suggestion to discuss charges for credit hours, some said they don’t think it will be implemented.
John Davis, a member of the board, said that it’s too early to know whether students might be impacted by the recommendation.