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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Fees Advisory Subcommittee makes no recommendation on business school fee

The Student Fees Advisory Subcommittee met today to discuss changes to both the undergraduate and graduate application fees, and a proposed fee for business school students.

What Happened?

The committee recommended an increase in the undergraduate application fee, bringing the cost from $80 to $85.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Accounting Brian Smith said he was concerned that raising the fee may deter students from applying to UNC.

“At $80 right now, it is among the highest in our peer group, even nationally,” Smith said.

After hearing from representatives of the graduate school, the committee recommended an increase from $85 to $87.50 in the graduate school application fee.

However, the committee did not reach a consensus on whether or not it would recommend the fee proposed by the Dean of the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, Doug Shackelford.

Who spoke?

Shackelford said the fee was absolutely necessary to make changes to the undergraduate business program.

“If we do not get this fee we will not expand,” he said.

Shackelford said the business school loses money on the undergraduate school every year as a result of the program's low costs.

“If we’re allowed to charge a fee, it will only mitigate the losses in our program," he said. "We will still lose money on every student we teach."

Student Body Treasurer Harry Edwards said he agreed with the overall goal of Shackelford's proposal, but took issue with some of the specific expenses mentioned in the proposal.

“How can increasing the class size by 25 percent necessitate more than doubling the administrative staff?” Edwards said.

The business school conducted a face-to-face survey with of nine students applying to the school and found the group to be in favor of the increased fee, Shackelford said. 

“I think if you put this decision in front of sophomores hoping for good news this winter they would overwhelmingly support it,” Shackelford said.

Edwards disagreed, arguing the business school study did not accurately represent student opinion because it was only conducted with nine students in a biased manner. Edwards and the committee conducted a survey in which they found 70 percent of students were not in favor of increasing the fee for business school students. 

“There’s certainly a feeling that if you sit down with someone for 90 minutes you’ll end up convincing them one way or another,” Edwards said. “I think to say that those students and their parent would support it is very against the student feedback we have received.”

Vice Chancellor for Campus Enterprises Brad Ives said he felt the committee was in support of the premise behind the proposal, but wasn’t comfortable with the all of the details.

“People here want kids to be able to major in the things they want to major in," Ives said. "I think you’ve got the acceptance of the committee on that. We’re just hearing something different than what we did last time."

The committee was unable to reach consensus on the proposed fee and therefore made no recommendation.

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