After consultation with the chancellors and UNC Board of Governors, UNC President Erskine Bowles today approved campus requests for supplemental tuition increases for the 2010-11 academic year. These supplemental increases—authorized by a special provision in the 2010-11 state budget and averaging $444 per year—will be used to help offset the impact of state budget cuts and protect academic quality. These increases are in addition to tuition and fee changes for 2010-11 previously approved by the UNC Board of Governors. As a result, in-state undergraduates will see an average 15.5% increase in tuition and required fees for the coming year. On every UNC campus, at least half of the revenues from the initial tuition increase and 20% of revenues from the supplemental increase will be targeted to need-based financial aid.
Even as the University has absorbed budget cuts totaling $575 million over the past three years, UNC campuses have attempted to sustain academic quality and to keep tuition as low as practicable. On every UNC campus, tuition and fee rates for North Carolinians are either the lowest or next to the lowest among public peer institutions. Over the past three years, tuition for in-state undergraduates has increased, on average, by 5.2%, 1.2%, and 2.8%, respectively. These increases were very low when compared to any other university system in the nation. Even with the increases approved today, tuition and fees on every UNC campus will remain in the bottom quarter of its public peers.
In an effort to shield academic instruction from the impact of repeated budget cuts, the University cut administrative expenses last year by 23%, abolished nearly 900 administrative positions, froze salaries, and redoubled efforts to raise external funds. UNC campuses now face another $142 million in cuts to their operating budgets and have largely exhausted their ability to absorb additional administrative cuts.
To help the University protect the quality of a UNC education, the 2010 NC General Assembly authorized each UNC campus—subject to the President’s approval—to implement a supplemental tuition increase of up to $750 to help offset the impact of state budget cuts. Supplemental increases approved today range from $250 to $750; five UNC campuses have opted to phase in the increase over two years. All revenues generated must be used to protect academic quality and provide need-based financial aid.