The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday March 20th

Tuition hike of $1,000 possible for out-of-state students

Despite years of large tuition increases, the group charged with proposing the next round of hikes might favor a more than $1,000 increase for out-of-state students.

At a meeting of the University’s tuition and fee advisory task force Tuesday, students, faculty and administrators addressed a possible increase of 6.5 percent — the UNC system’s self-imposed cap — for all out-of-state students and in-state graduate students.


6.5 percent
Possible tuition increase for the 2013-14 year

Equivalent of a 6.5 percent increase for nonresident undergraduates

Equivalent of a 6.5 percent increase for non-resident graduate students

Equivalent of a 6.5 percent increase for in-state graduate students

Approved increase for in-state undergraduates

Though the 13.5 percent, $695 tuition increase for in-state undergraduates passed last fall did help alleviate the strain felt by last year’s N.C. General Assembly budget cuts, administrators emphasized that there are still pressing issues to address and few ways to fund them.

The system Board of Governors has already passed a $600 increase for in-state undergraduates for the 2013-14 academic year.

Since the state legislature has also failed to meet its projected revenue for the year, administrators are predicting further cuts from the state budget.

“We’re at the place where there’s very little else we can cut,” said Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, in an interview. “We will eat into our academic mission with even a small cut (from the state).”

“With a 6.5 (percent) increase in out-of-state tuition, we can partially cover those losses, find some savings outside of the academic mission and still be able to do some new things, some things that have been needed for a long time.”

Carney said last year’s increases did not remedy all of the University’s recent struggles, and a further increase will still not cover all costs, lack of funds or future cuts.

The tuition increase revenue only met one-third of the need to restore courses and sections, Carney said.

Course overcrowding is still a major campus problem, and students have struggled to take classes required for their major due to a lack of sections available.

There is also still a need for smaller classes and more graduate teaching assistants for those classes, he added.

Carney also said more academic advisers are needed, as UNC has twice as many students per adviser than many of its peer institutions.

Shirley Ort, director of scholarships and student aid, said the 43 percent of out-of-state students already receiving need-based aid would be insulated from any increase.

But the task force also expressed concerns that the tuition increase will lower UNC’s competitiveness among out-of-state students.

“If you hold all things equal, this does diminish our position a little bit,” said Steve Farmer, vice provost of enrollment and undergraduate admissions.

“I’m a little worried about an increase of 6.5 percent right now. I know we have serious needs and the cut amplifies need, but if I were drawing up the play I might go a little lower than that.”

Student Body President Will Leimenstoll said he sees a potential risk of selling out-of-state students on false promises of affordability.

“I don’t think we’re there yet, but I don’t want to get to that point,” he said.

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