UNC’s tentative proposal to increase in-state tuition by 40 percent during a multi-year span far exceeds the UNC system’s cap, but administrators said they were not surprised by the proposal.
The system’s new Four Year Tuition Plan, which went into effect this academic year, maintains the system’s 6.5 percent cap on tuition increases.
It includes a clause allowing campuses to propose a one-time increase above the cap in order to “catch up” to their public peer institutions’ tuition rates, as long as they remain within the bottom quarter of those peers.
The board approved a new list of peer institutions for each system school in October. UNC’s public peers include the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
On Thursday, UNC’s tuition and fee advisory task force discussed increasing the in-state tuition rate by $2,800 during the next two to four years.
Administrators said UNC’s proposal does not overstep the bounds of the clause.
Board of Governors Chairwoman Hannah Gage said she is not surprised by UNC’s tuition increase discussion in light of the new clause, which she said a lot of campuses have interpreted as encouragement to propose increases exceeding the cap.
The previous four year plan allowed for exceptions to the cap for campuses with a significant unfunded need — but it didn’t encourage them, she said.
“I always felt that the original policy was more than adequate to deal with any compelling exception without encouraging or inviting campuses to come forward with exceptional requests.”