Chancellor Holden Thorp met with President Barack Obama on Monday for a discussion that signals a coming national effort by the White House to make college more affordable.
Thorp was one of a dozen leaders in higher education invited to participate in the meeting, which centered on the issue of decreasing the cost of attendance at universities across the country.
Thorp said in an interview that Obama met with the attendees for about an hour, and focused not on rising tuition but student debt.
“His focus was not so much on the tuition process that has played out in this particular cycle but on the fact that he’s concerned about a lot of students not being able to pay back their loans or not going to college because they don’t want to have that debt,” Thorp said.
The Board of Trustees recently approved a 15.6 percent tuition increase for in-state students. But the average inflation-adjusted, post-graduation debt for UNC students has decreased since 2000, Thorp said.