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$1,780 increase in out-of-state tuition approved by Board of Governors committee

The UNC Board of Governors watches NCSU Professor Bonnie Fusarelli give her acceptance speech after receiving the Holshouser Award during the UNC Board of Governors meeting at the UNC System Office on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

The UNC Board of Governors is requesting additional funds from the N.C. General Assembly to adjust faculty and staff salaries for inflation in its proposed 2023-2025 system operating budget. 

The BOG Committee on Budget and Financeunanimously approved the proposed budget during its joint meeting with the Committee on Military and Public Affairs Wednesday morning. 

Capital projects — including the renovation of Avery Residence Hall for accessibility — and increases in tuition and fees for certain students and programs were also approved by the committee.

What’s new? 

  • The proposed increase to address inflation includes a request for a Labor Market Adjustment Reserve – a fund that would allow institutions to provide additional raises to specific, hard-to-recruit positions, said Jennifer Haygood, the senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer. 
    • According to the proposal provided in the meeting agenda, there isn’t a specified dollar amount for these increases. 
    • Haygood said much of the inflationary pressure felt on the UNC System is because they have not raised undergraduate resident tuition since the 2017-2018 academic year.
      • “That's how many institutions in and outside of our System pay for these types of increases – they just raise tuition,” she said. “We have made a concerted decision that we want to prioritize affordability and not pass on those costs to our students and families.”
    • The priorities in this budget also included funding for the completion assistance program, which will provide financial aid funding to improve four-year graduation rates. It additionally incorporated the faculty retirement incentive program that would allow institutions to provide severance payments to tenured faculty members equal to their annual base salary. 
  • The joint committees approved several UNC capital projects, including a renovation of Avery Residence Hall, to provide accessible dorm rooms and improve overall building accessibility, according to the proposal. 
    • Additional approvals and some funding were also granted for the ongoing addition to the Kenan-Flagler Business School, as well as the redevelopment of Carrington Hall, to expand the nursing school. 
  • In the full operating budget proposal, UNC requested a total of $17.5 million over the next two years in additional funding for the expansion of the computer science program. 
    • The funding will go toward hiring faculty, infrastructure support and expanding capacity for undergraduate majors, according to the proposal. 
      • The computer science department recently moved to a full admissions model to address extreme demand, and similar academic programs in the School of Data Science and Society are in development.
  • Undergraduate resident tuition will remain unchanged for the 2023-2024 academic year. Following the joint meeting, the Budget and Finance Committee approved the tuition and fee rates initially presented at January’s meeting
    • The biggest tuition changes at UNC are increases in many professional school tuition rates, as well as a $1,780 increase in undergraduate out-of-state tuition.
    • BOG Vice Chairperson Wendy Floyd Murphy asked about the percentage of incoming tuition that goes toward need-based financial aid, with concern for students on the bubble of receiving aid.
      • Haygood said the BOG placed a 15-percent cap on the amount of tuition revenue that can be used for need-based aid in 2014. 
      • “The question in my mind would be, as we raise the in-state or out-of-state, is that cap — that 15 percent  — too high or too low or just right?” Committee Chairperson James Holmes said. “And do we need to revisit that cap?”
      • Randy Woodson, the chancellor of N.C. State University, said the only recent source of new tuition dollars has been from out-of-state students.
        • “Technically, our out-of-state students are subsidizing financial aid for all of our students,” Woodson said. “At least at our institution.”
  • The joint committees also approved a list of federal funding priorities for Congress, including continued support for the UNC System’s annual $1.9 billion of federal research funding and increasing visibility for legislation helping address student mental health. 

What’s next? 

  • The full BOG voted on the operating budget priorities, capital projects and tuition and fees at its meeting Feb. 23. 
    • The Board of Governors will reconvene April 19 and 20.
  • The General Assembly is currently in legislative session, which will produce the 2023-2025 biennium state budget; incorporating many of the funding requests approved at Wednesday’s meeting. 


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