Fixed Tuition Program

The Fixed Tuition Program, established by North Carolina General Statute § 116-143.9, provides all in-state undergraduates an opportunity to complete a degree quickly and affordably, at any institution in the UNC System.

Once residents enter as a freshman at any UNC System institution, tuition rates will not go up for eight consecutive semesters of enrollment. Students who remain continuously enrolled at a UNC System institution through fall and spring semesters will not see an increase in their tuition over the course of their four-year baccalaureate degree program. 

Students are not required to be enrolled during the summer term(s) to maintain continuous enrollment. However, students who leave an institution for a semester or more may be subject to tuition increases when they return.

The provision includes flexibility regarding the eight-semester limit for those students enrolled in five-year programs.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Five-Year Programs

Any program authorized by the Board of Governors that requires 135 semester credit hours or more is officially designated as a five-year baccalaureate program. First-time students seeking a baccalaureate degree in five-year programs will be eligible for 10 consecutive academic semesters, not including summer sessions.

Transfer Students

Transfer students will receive fixed tuition for a prorated time period, based on credits accumulated at the transferring institution(s). Students transferring between UNC System institutions but maintaining continuous enrollment will be subject to the transfer student policy.

Eligibility

The eligibility period begins for first-time or transfer students upon enrolling in a UNC System institution for the fall or spring semester as a degree-seeking undergraduate. Semesters in which students completely withdraw from the institution before the completion of the term will be counted in the designated fixed-tuition time period.  

As required by statute, students who take more than 140 degree credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree in a four-year program (or more than 110 percent of the credit hours necessary for a four- or five-year program) will be subject to a 50-percent tuition surcharge for credit hours in excess of 140.

Waivers

Students who demonstrate that a disruption in enrollment was due to a military service obligation, a serious medical debilitation, short- or long-term disability, or other extraordinary hardship, may be eligible for a waiver to the program’s continuous enrollment requirement.

Students Exempt from Fixed Tuition

The following categories of students are not eligible for the Fixed Tuition Program: continuing education students; students currently enrolled in a cooperative innovative high school/early college, consortium, or dual-enrollment program; second degree seeking students; readmits who are not granted an appeal; non-degree seeking students; UNC Online, World Language; non-resident students; and graduate and professional students.

Student Fees

Student fees and tuition are not the same. UNC System students who remain continuously enrolled may see increases in fees. However, increases in student fees cannot exceed 3% per year.

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