University administrators have long suggested that higher tuition might be the most effective way to offset budget cuts in coming years.
But even after a revision of the list of UNC’s peer institutions, which could have paved the way for a higher tuition model, administrators remain at the mercy of the Board of Governors for any changes.
The 6.5 percent increase cap on tuition set by the board is the main obstacle keeping UNC from matching its public peer institutions’ tuition levels.
The board will meet today to discuss revisions to UNC’s 16 peer institutions, which will now include Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota, said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney.
The addition of the schools won’t allow for higher tuition for UNC, as Northwestern is a private institution and Minnesota’s tuition is lower than that of the University of Illinois, the school it will replace.
UNC’s peer institutions provide comparison for graduation rates, retention rates, salaries and space allocation in addition to tuition levels, Carney said.
The remaining public institutions on UNC’s list of peers might influence future tuition increase decisions, Carney said.
The University of California-Los Angeles — listed as an aspirational peer of UNC — recently implemented an 8 percent increase, and an additional 9.6 percent increase shortly after, said Ricardo Vazquez, a spokesman for the University of California system.
“Students have not been happy about it, but the state has cut our funding and it was unfortunately necessary,” Vazquez said.