Annual tuition will go up $250 for in-state undergraduates and $1,100 for those from outside North Carolina next fall following approval by by the UNC System Board of Governors. The BOG, which approved all tuition change requests across the 16 campuses, has approved increases at Carolina in four of the past six years.
The tuition increase was backed in a unanimous agreement in late January by the UNC Board of Trustees. All graduate students will pay $500 more.
In addition, undergraduates will pay 12.1 percent more in annual fees, and graduate students will pay 11.9 percent more.
The tuition increases – to be used primarily to pay faculty more, to raise teaching-assistant stipends and to improve the student-faculty ratio – amount to 7.8 percent for in-state undergraduates and 6.5 percent for out-of-staters; in-state graduate students will pay 13.8 percent more, and the out-of-state increase comes to 2.8 percent.
As is customary with tuition increases, about 40 percent of the revenue generated will be set aside to ensure that the burden of the increase does not adversely affect students receiving need-based financial aid.
The new in-state undergraduate tuition and fees total $5,033; for nonresident undergraduates, they will be $19,681. Graduate students will pay $5,680 in-state and $19,678 out-of-state.
The in-state undergraduate tuition remains below the 25th quartile when compared with the current rates of Carolina’s peer universities. Provost Robert Shelton told the trustees that an informal poll indicated the peer schools would increase tuition 4 to 10 percent this year.
A call from the editorial page of The Daily Tar Heel for students to attend the meeting and voice their opinions generated little interest at the meeting. The only student who spoke to the full board was, in fact, a representative of the editorial department who protested a $50 increase in the athletics fee.
Student Body President Seth Dearmin came out in favor of an increase in a column in the student paper. Dearmin, who co-chaired the Campus Tuition Advisory Task Force made up of students, faculty and staff, also persuaded the trustees to endorse a “predictability plan” under which the task force will be charged with looking ahead three or four years in an effort to give students, parents and the public an idea of what to expect in tuition changes. The figures in the predictability planning will not be binding upon the trustees.
Student fees are the often-misunderstood portion of Carolina’s cost – the menu of fees covers three pages in materials presented to the trustees. The $170 increase in fees for 2006-07 includes a $50 boost in the athletics fee for upgrades to Carmichael Auditorium. That is on top of a $100 increase for athletics last year. Chris Cameron, opinion editor for the DTH, questioned taxing the students for renovations of a building many of them never use. The $50 increase will remain after the Carmichael work is finished – the athletics department will shift the revenues to other needs.
Students will pay a new fee of $50 to help support replacement of the University’s Student Information System, which supports financial aid, admissions, registration, student billing, student grading and other services. Smaller increases were approved for support and upgrade of computer systems, health service and activities such as the Student Recreation Center, the Student Union and the APPLES student volunteer service organization.