Trustees to Take Up Proposal to Increase Tuition 6.5%

Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 has recommended a $240 tuition increase for N.C. resident undergraduates for the 2009-10 school year, the maximum allowed under a 6.5 percent cap imposed by the UNC System Board of Governors.

In a letter to the Board of Trustees, Thorp said he took into account the burden of the current financial crisis on the state’s families. “We can all acknowledge that the kitchen table conversations that they have about family budgets and paying for college have become much more difficult in these past few months,” Thorp wrote. “At the same time, I recognize the need for a long-term view and our fiduciary responsibility to protect, preserve, and enhance academic quality and the value of a Carolina diploma.”

The increase was recommended to Thorp by the Tuition and fee Advisory Task Force, made up of students, faculty, administrators and trustees. He went with the midpoint of the task force’s recommendation range on undergraduate out-of-state tuition – a $1,150 increase. Thorp also recommended the midpoint in the task force’s range on all graduate students – a $400 increase.

Thorp concurred with the task force recommendation of a $75 increase in student fees.

The trustees were expected to act on the recommendations later this week. The Board of Governors would have to give final approval for any increases to take effect.

Thorp said the revenue generated by the increase should go to faculty salaries (35 percent), quality improvement initiatives such as class size reduction, academic support services and graduate student tuition remissions (30 percent), and need-based financial aid (35 percent). The allowance for aid is a typical set-aside in any tuition increase.

Shirley Ort, associate provost and director of scholarships and student aid, reported that aid applications for 2008-09 were up 13 percent from the previous year but that the number of students who qualified went up by only 2 percent.

Tuition has been raised at UNC three of the past five years for in-state students and in each of those five years for nonresidents. Current rates are $3,705 a year for North Carolinians and $20,603 for nonresidents.

The fees increase would be up 4.4 percent from the current $1,692 a year.

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