Despite hefty tuition increases last year, tuition will likely rise once again in the face of a continued lack of state funds and University-wide budget constraints.
The UNC committee charged with proposing the next round of tuition increases unanimously approved a 6.5 percent increase next year for in-state graduate students at a meeting Tuesday.
BY THE NUMBERS:
approved tuition increase for all out-of-state undergraduates and graduates.
approved tuition increase for in-state graduate students
set tuition increase for in-state undergraduates approved in Spring
But for out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students, tuition increases of 6.1 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, were approved by the tuition and fee advisory task force.
A $600 increase for in-state undergraduates has already been approved for the 2013-14 year.
The task force opted to increase tuition for both undergraduate and graduate out-of-state students by the same amount — $1,630.
That amount is an approximate average of the previously proposed 6.5 percent increases — the UNC system’s self-imposed cap — of $1,727 for out-of-state undergraduates and $1,555 for out-of-state graduate students.
With the approved increases, the total amount of revenue from tuition increases will remain the same, Carney said.
Student Body President Will Leimenstoll expressed concern about a 6.5 percent increase for out-of-state undergraduates after a presentation by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney showed their tuition is higher than out-of-state graduate students’ tuition.
Out-of-state undergraduates currently pay $26,575 in tuition, and out-of-state graduates pay $23,924.
Student leaders said they were uncomfortable with asking out-of-state undergraduates, who already pay the highest tuition, to shoulder the highest tuition increase.
Leimenstoll said the committee’s decision to rethink charging a 6.5 percent increase across the board showed how the task force has listened to students’ concerns.
“It shows we’re trying to think critically about the increases, not just do them to keep up, not just use them as an automatic go-to for funding,” he said.
The 0.3 percentage point increase for out-of-state graduate students will be covered through tuition remission — money UNC provides to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.
But Michael Bertucci, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, said he has concerns about the tuition hike’s effect on graduate students.
“Tuition increases impact the populations so differently because they’re different populations.”
Carney said the revenue from these tuition increases will go toward areas still lacking, such as faculty retention and restoring course sections and hours.
Carney also expressed a desire to use the revenue to raise the minimum graduate student stipend, which has been $14,700 since 2009.
“Those are always priorities for the University, and those are things that have been pretty savaged by cuts,” he said.
The proposals will now move to the UNC Board of Trustees before going to the UNC-system Board of Governors and then eventually the N.C. General Assembly.
Carney said it is still too early to tell what the state legislature will do when it meets in January.
“What I really wish is that there were more state support coming to the University rather than cutting us so deeply,” Carney said.
“We’ve got a really great university here, and the effort here for us is to be working to keep that quality up.”
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