UNC’s Board of Trustees agreed Thursday with a recommendation by Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 to raise tuition 6.5 percent, the maximum allowed by the UNC System Board of Governors. The increase would be the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.
“This is a year when we need the full 6.5 percent,” Thorp told the trustees before the vote. Carolina is wincing at the prospects of more severe cuts in state funding after the N.C. General Assembly convenes next year.
The tuition increase will cost in-state students an additional $313, bringing tuition to $5,128, and out-of-state students an additional $1,523, brining nonresident tuition to $24,953.
The increases, if approved by the Board of Governors, will bring in $15 million more for the University.
Student Body President Hogan Medlin, who serves as an ex officio member, cast the lone vote against the tuition increase.
Medlin and other students had preferred two other options: either a 5.6 percent increase for all students, which would have raised $12.9 million; or a 6.5 percent increase for residents and a 5.6 percent increase for nonresidents, which would have raised $13.9 million.
The campus tuition advisory task force had not endorsed a single option but forwarded all three to the chancellor.
Before the vote, Thorp said the University needs to be realistic about the economic environment. He briefly addressed the students’ 5.6 percent proposal.
“I think it was a very thoughtful proposal,” he said. “I’m sorry I am unable to recommend that.”
Medlin told the trustees he worried that the General Assembly could repeat last summer’s action, when legislators passed a $750 increase affecting all students attending public universities. Students still had to pay the increase the trustees already had passed.
“It makes sense to be a little more conservative now,” he said.
After the vote, Medlin said he was not surprised. “I’m not even up in arms about it,” he said. He called the 5.6 percent proposals “a concerted effort to meet the University halfway.”
Of the tuition dollars, at least 25 percent must be set aside for financial aid. The University has raised that rate to 45 percent because of hard economic times. The remainder of the money will support instruction, advising and the libraries.