December 6, 2010
The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees approved proposed tuition and fees for the 2011-2012 academic year at its meeting Monday, Dec. 6. 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 board approved a $193 increase in annual tuition for full-time, in-state undergraduate students and a $1,025 increase for full-time, out-of-state undergraduate students. Of that increase, 25 percent would be set aside for need-based financial aid.
The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees’ December 6 recommendation also included a $66 increase in annual student fees. The $26 increase in the student health fee will be used to improve an electronic medical records system, update medical equipment, expand psychiatric services and convert several offices into medical examination rooms for the Student Health Center. The $40 increase in the education and technology fee will be used to replace aging scientific and classroom equipment. There were no increases to the student activity and athletic fees.
In addition, UNC Asheville will be implementing the second year of a two-year supplemental increase, previously approved by the Board of Governors in July 2010, of $347 for full-time, in-state students and $375 for full-time, out-of-state students. Of that increase, 20 percent will be set aside for need-based financial aid.
In mid-July 2010, the State Legislature gave the University of North Carolina system the authority to add a supplemental tuition increase, for the sole purpose of offsetting the consequences of budget reductions, up to a maximum of $750 per in-state student for the 2010-2011 academic year.
While 11 campuses chose to implement the entire supplemental tuition increase four weeks prior to the start of the 2010-11 academic year, UNC Asheville and four other campuses chose to implement the supplemental tuition increase over two years in order to allow North Carolina students and their families additional time to plan for the increase.
The proposed increase in tuition and fees, combined with the second year of the supplemental increase, would bring 2011-2012 tuition and fees to $5,064 for full-time, in-state undergraduates and $18,696 for full-time, out-of-state undergraduates. Tuition and fees for the current academic year are $4,458 for in-state students and $17,230 for out-of-state students.
Tuition and fees for full-time, in-state graduate students would be $5,579 and $19,024 for full-time, out-of-state graduate students.
"Students here are starting to feel the pressure of the school dealing with less and less resources," Courtney Galatioto, president of the Student Government Association, told fellow Board of Trustee members. "We are seeing increases in class size and we're being told we don't have the resources for new equipment. No one wants a tuition increase, but a $270 a semester increase is very reasonable. Students come here for two reasons, the academic quality and the affordability. We have to make sure we are not so attached to affordability that we sacrifice the high quality that brought us here."
"These are challenging economic times and we are facing some difficult decisions," said Board of Trustees Chair James Buckner. "As we plan now for significant cuts in state funding in 2011-12, we are working to protect the academic core and the student experience at UNC Asheville. We have looked thoughtfully and carefully at increasing tuition and fees. It is not something we do lightly."
Even with the proposed increase, UNC Asheville's combined tuition and fees are 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 that enroll primarily undergraduates in 2010-2011 is $6,224.
UNC Asheville’s current tuition and fees are 10th lowest in the 16-campus university system. UNC Asheville's tuition and fees are also the lowest among a peer group of public institutions designated by University of North Carolina General Administration.