The fate of out-of-state students’ tuition for next year will be on the boardroom table today and Friday.
The UNC-system Board of Governors will meet today in committee meetings and all together on Friday to vote for tuition and fee increases for next year.
Out-of-state students are facing a tuition increase at most system schools — 12.3 percent at UNC-CH. The board will vote on whether it wants to ask the N.C. General Assembly to repeal the tuition hike mandate.
During the summer, the legislature bypassed the board’s standard process of finalizing tuition decisions after reviewing campus requests and mandated the tuition increase for the system.
Repealing that decision would require a legislative change in the short session, which starts in May.
In August, system President Tom Ross had recommended a tuition freeze for in-state students. The board is expected to support that Friday.
No scheduled student protests of the out-of-state tuition hikes have been advertised.
Robert Nunnery, UNC-system Association of Student Governments president, and Andrew Powell, UNC-CH student body president-elect, said they have not heard of any protests.
“Out-of-state tuition is on the agenda and in-state students make up the bulk of the student population,” Nunnery said. “That explains why there isn’t more of an outcry.”
A system-wide tuition and fees increase of about 8.8 percent in 2012 brought about 200 students and Chapel Hill occupiers to the board’s meeting in protest. The large crowd blocked off traffic in a march down Raleigh Road.
The board’s Friday meeting and vote will take place on the campus of SAS, a software company in Cary. Board meetings are usually held at the Spangler Center in Chapel Hill, and the board will meet in committees there today.
The meeting location was changed because the meeting will include the State Board of Community Colleges and there is not enough space in the Spangler Center to accommodate both groups, said Joni Worthington, spokeswoman for the UNC system.
The community college board will attend the meeting to vote on revisions to the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, which simplifies the process of transferring between community colleges in the state and schools in the UNC system, she said in an email.
Powell, an out-of-state student from Tennessee, said he does not want to see tuition increase each year.
“We’re reaching a breaking point, and our students are being affected by it,” he said.
A major portion of the money generated from the tuition increase will go to cover legislative budget reductions. The rest will be available for campus use.
“Tuition increases are never good, but a tuition increase with no return doesn’t make sense,” Nunnery said.
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