Full Scholarship Recipients, Welcome to North Carolina

After extensive deliberations and politicking, the N.C. General Assembly has declined to give UNC and N.C. State University the authority to set their own tuition. But legislators have passed a provision to the state budget that allows the UNC System’s 16 campuses to consider out-of-state students who receive full scholarships to be regarded as in-state residents for tuition purposes.

The provision is expected to significantly lower the cost of funding those scholarships for the athletics boosters club, the Morehead Foundation and the Robertson Scholars Program.

If this had applied this year, it would have affected 71 out-of-state freshmen who received full scholarships to Carolina through athletics and the Morehead and Robertson programs, according to UNC’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

That means the academic scholarship sponsors could cover the costs of more scholarships each year. The Educational Foundation, or Rams Club, could receive a boon as well. This year, there are 38 out-of-state freshmen who are athletes on full scholarships, according to Larry Gallo, senior associate athletics director. If those students were charged in-state rates, the foundation – which covers the cost of most athletics scholarships – would save about half a million dollars a year.

If UNC’s Board of Trustees adopts the plan, the University could open its doors to more non-North Carolinians without them counting toward the UNC System’s 18 percent limit on out-of-state freshmen. The provision states that those from out of state who benefit from it will not take the places of in-state residents – they will be additional to the number of in-state students admitted.

The tuition autonomy provision had the support of Carolina administrators and its political action committee, Citizens for Higher Education. But the UNC System Board of Governors, UNC System President Molly Broad, and former UNC System President William Friday ’48 (LLB) were opposed. Following the Legislature’s action, Board of Governors Chairman Brad Wilson appointed a tuition policy task force to study the needs of UNC and N.C. State and make recommendations by October.

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