December 9, 2009
The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees approved proposed tuition and fees for the 2010-11 academic year at its meeting Monday, Dec. 7. The recommendation, which now moves to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for consideration, originated with campus tuition and fee committees, made up of faculty, students and administrators.
The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees approved a 6.5 percent increase in tuition, which would raise annual in-state tuition by $155 and out-of-state tuition by $917. Half of the revenues from the proposed tuition increase is designated for need-based financial aid and half is designated for four areas that directly impact the student academic experience. Funds would be used to expand: library services, co-curricular experiences, international programming, and, at the request of the students, sustainability efforts. UNC Asheville's current annual in-state tuition is $2,389 and out-of-state tuition is $14,106.
The General Assembly earlier this year, as part of its budget deliberations, increased 2010-11 tuition rates for UNC system campuses by 8 percent or $200, whichever is less, above the current year's rates. Revenues from the increase would go to the state's general fund.
UNC President Erskine Bowles plans to recommend that the UNC Board of Governors ask the General Assembly to consider an alternative tuition plan. UNC General Administration has asked each campus to follow the traditional process for proposing campus-based tuition increases for consideration by the Board of Governors. If the alternative tuition plan is approved by the UNC Board of Governors and endorsed by the General Assembly, revenues from the campus-based tuition increases would remain with each campus.
The Board of Trustees' recommendation also included a $112 increase in annual student fees. The $36 increase in the education and technology fee will be used to expand campus wireless service and extend library hours. The $33 increase in the student health fee will go to expanded health and counseling services, replacement of medical clinic equipment and reduce fees for some lab tests. The $15 increase in the athletic fee will be used to renovate the sports medicine room and to improve the weight training facility. The $27 increase in the student activity fee will be used to increase the number of paid student positions on campus, enhance student-initiated environmental sustainability projects and expand student co-curricular programming.
"We are mindful of the economic challenges that many students and their families face, which made the decision to raise tuition and fees especially difficult," said James Buckner, chair of UNC Asheville's Board of Trustees. "The board discussed this at length, and we believe that these increases are essential to maintaining the outstanding liberal arts education we provide for our students."
UNC Asheville's current tuition and fees total $4,329 for full-time, in-state students and $16,046 for full-time out-of-state students. Even with the proposed increase, UNC Asheville's combined tuition and fees are well below the national average. According to the College Board's annual "Trends in College Pricing" report, the average published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities in 2009-10 is $7,020 for in-state students. UNC Asheville's combined tuition and fees are the lowest among a peer group of public universities designated by the UNC General Administration.
Room and board rates were also increased, with the standard meal plan increasing 1.7 percent or $50 (from $3,000 to $3,050) for the 2010-11 academic year, and a standard double room increasing 2.6 percent or $100 (from $3,890 to $3,990).
With the proposed increases, a typical in-state student living on campus would pay $416 additional for the year, bringing the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board to $11,636 for 2010-11. Out-of-state students would pay an additional $1,179 for the year, for a total of $24,115.