BOG Raises Out-of-State Tuition, Approves Higher Athletics Fee Increase

The UNC System Board of Governors stuck by a tuition freeze for in-state students for 2005-06, but raised the rate on non-North Carolinians on March 19. In-state tuition will remain at $3,205 per year; out-of-staters will pay $700 more, or $17,003.

The UNC Board of Trustees had recommended a $200 increase for residents and $950 for non-residents.

There was another surprise on the student fee that supports varsity athletics. In January the trustees recommended approval of a $50 increase to the $98.50 fee which covers athletics operating budgets and non-revenue sports coaches’ salaries. The recommendation included an additional $100 increase in the fee for the following year. The fee hike request was an 11th-hour addition worked out just days before the trustees meeting, which bypassed the usual student review process.

The BOG doubled the trustees’ request and approved a $100 increase for the fee for 2005-06.

The athletics department has said that the fee increase is needed to boost coaching salaries among UNC’s Olympic sports and to provide for renovation of some existing athletics facilities. Athletics officials also have cited higher scholarship costs in recent years, pushed up by tuition increases dating from 2000. Many of UNC’s scholarship athletes are out-of-state students, and the athletics department says rising costs to meet those scholarship commitments no longer can be met by the Educational Foundation alone.

Carolina has 28 men’s and women’s sports – a larger offering than any other ACC school – and even with the increase, Carolina’s fees would remain among the lowest in the ACC. The trustees recommendation called for a $50 increase the first year and another $100 hike in 2005-06.

The fee increase plan includes an allocation shift that will create more money to fund merit-based scholarships. Currently, 75 percent of profits from the sale of UNC logo merchandise goes to need-based scholarships, and the remaining 25 percent goes to the athletics department. With the fee increase, 25 percent of merchandise profits will go to merit-based scholarships, which will yield about $900,000 annually. While the athletics department will lose that money, the net increase to athletics of a cumulative $150 increase in the athletics fee would be $2.7 million a year.

The BOG approved out-of-state tuition hikes for 11 of the UNC System’s 16 universities. The N.C. General Assembly still could raise tuition again in its budget deliberations.

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