The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday September 27th

UNC-system Board of Governors approves new financial aid policy

The UNC-system Board of Governors gave final approval to a new policy today that grants each university the flexibility to determine how much tuition revenue is allocated to need-based financial aid.

Schools were previously required to devote at least 25 percent of new tuition revenues to need-based financial aid.

But some board members raised concerns that schools were essentially subsidizing low-income students with middle-class families’ money and without their knowledge, prompting system President Thomas Ross to propose a 25 percent cap at last month’s meeting.

The board’s new policy includes neither a minimum nor a cap on the percentage of tuition revenue reserved for financial aid, and it also requires administrators to include the percentage in students’ tuition bills. Board member Louis Bissette explained the move as a compromise between the varying interests of state residents in an interview Thursday.

“We had a lot of comments from across the state — some people saying, ‘This is great that you use 25 percent,’” he said. “We had some people — single parents, parents who are struggling to pay tuition for their child — and they were saying, ‘You know, I’m struggling to make this payment, and you are taking 25 percent of it to give to someone else.’

“I think the board felt that because each campus has a different socioeconomic makeup of its student body, it would be best left to each campus to make that decision.”

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