The Board of Trustees voted on Nov. 9 to increase the base tuition rate for out-of-state undergraduate students and for all graduate students.
For the eighth consecutive year, the board did not propose an increase in tuition for in-state undergraduate students.
If approved by the UNC System Board of Governors, tuition for out-of-state undergraduate students will increase 5 percent to $39,228 from $37,360. In-state tuition will remain at $7,019 a year.
Carolina’s out-of-state tuition and fees are an average of $3,000 below the 2023–24 rates charged by UNC’s public university peers, said Nate Knuffman, vice chancellor for finance and operations and chief financial officer. Carolina’s in-state and out-of-state tuition rates are higher than those at the universities of Florida, Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin but lower than the tuition at the universities of Washington, Texas, Virginia and Michigan, and UCLA and UC-Berkeley, according to Knuffman.
For graduate students, the board approved a 2 percent increase in tuition for in-state and out-of-state graduate students, to $10,764 and $29,421, respectively.
The board voted to increase the Student Union operating fee by $12.77. The increase would support wages for about 225 students, more than 800 student organizations supported by the Carolina Union Activities Board and fund repairs and infrastructure projects. Other student fees will remain unchanged.
Student Body President Chris Everett, an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees, said the prevailing sentiment among students is they would accept a larger increase in student fees if some of the money would be used to improve the Student Union and student recreational facilities.
During his slideshow presentation, Everett, a senior public policy major from Clayton, compared the Student Union, which opened in 1969, with the Talley Student Union at N.C. State University, originally constructed in 1972 but renovated in 2012. Everett also showed a photo of the University Recreation Center at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and said UNC’s recreational facilities are lacking.
“I love this university. But I know that a name can do but so much,” Everett said. “As the student body president, I always find myself hearing countless stories of students being excited to come here because of the name and brand recognition of our University, but then experience a rude awakening in terms of its offerings — and the student union and our recreational facilities are just two examples. There has to be a way to talk about maintaining our commitment to affordability, while also examining how tuition and student fees and philanthropy can be employed as tools to provide students with facilities that they need and deserve.”
After Everett’s presentation, Board Chair John Preyer ’90 said members would tour some of the student facilities during the January meeting.
UNC trustees also approved tuition increases for in-state and out-of-state graduate students in three schools. Each school and program has different tuition and fee charges, according to The Graduate School website.
The initial proposal on Wednesday during committee discussions had a higher percentage tuition increase for in-state journalism, dental and law school graduate students than for out-of-state students. Some trustees said they opposed increasing rates more for in-state students than out-of-state students. The full board voted the next day to increase tuition at the same rate for all students.
The trustees also set a tuition rate for the School of Data Science and Society — $21,812 for in-state students and $31,681 for out-of-state students. The school is Carolina’s first new professional school since 2001, when the Institute of Government was reorganized as the School of Government. The data science school plans to enroll students in the 2024–25 school year.
The board also approved housing increases ranging from 5 to 7 percent and a 7.4 percent increase for all meal plans.
All of the proposed increases will take effect during the 2024–25 academic year if approved by the UNC Board of Governors, which is expected to consider them in early 2024.
— Laurie D. Willis ’86