CHAPEL HILL (February 25, 2022) – The UNC System’s Board of Governors voted yesterday to keep in-state tuition rates the same for a sixth year in a row at the 16 UNC System campuses in 2022-23.
“This marks the sixth consecutive year that North Carolina’s public universities have kept tuition flat,” said System President Peter Hans.
“It’s not one year. It’s not two years. It’s not three years. It’s not four, it’s not five,” Hans said. “It’s six years. There’s not another public university in the country that can say that.”
In-state undergraduate tuition and fees for 2022-23 will be $8,752 at UNC-Chapel Hill and $8,919 at NC State University. In-state tuition and fees will range from $3,357 to $7,380 at most other UNC System schools.
Hans added that North Carolina’s public universities will be even more affordable next year with the addition of Fayetteville State University as the fourth campus in NC Promise, which offers tuition of $500 a semester for in-state students. The program already included Elizabeth City State, UNC Pembroke and Western Carolina universities.
“The sticker price matters for what it communicates to our students and their families,” Hans said, thanks in large part to public support that keeps the institutions strong.
“Tens of thousands of families have been able to pay for college without breaking the bank.”
The Board agreed to increase out-of-state undergraduate tuition at six campuses and for a few graduate programs across the 17-campus system – mostly in master’s of business administration programs.1
Later in the meeting, as the Board discussed a new funding model for the System, Chair Randy Ramsey told the System’s chancellors and CFOs: “We understand six years of flat tuition is putting a strain on you.”
There was more discussion of fees across the UNC System. At the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, Committee Chair Jim Holmes voted against an increase in athletics fees, saying that continuously increasing fees, particularly at NCAA Division II schools, is not sustainable.
And board member Art Pope voted against increases in campus security fees, contending that public safety is a fundamental assurance universities owe students, rather than charging a separate fee for it.
In his remarks to the board, Hans noted anonymous bomb threats in recent weeks at several of the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.2
North Carolina is home to more public HBCUs than any other state. Given their acceleration of social mobility, “North Carolina’s HBCUs speak to our highest aspirations as a state,” Hans said.
Though the threats are meant to intimidate, “They have not succeeded,” he said, adding that campus security officials are working with federal, state and local law enforcement to identify the sources of the threats.
Increased out-of-state enrollment at three institutions
The Board also voted to raise out-of-state enrollment caps to 35% at N.C. A&T and NC Central universities and 50% at Elizabeth City State University. The board voted last year to increase the out-of-state enrollment limit from 18% to 25% at the System’s five HBCUs.3
Hans said the increased out-of-state enrollment is warranted at N.C. A&T because of its growing stature as the largest HBCU in the country, at Elizabeth City State because of its proximity to the Virginia border, and at NC Central because it has capacity, with 600 empty beds in Fall 2021.
System officials said they don’t expect the number of in-state students enrolled at the schools to decline as the number and percentage of out-of-state students increases. Ramsey warned that he doesn’t want to see any North Carolinians displaced by additional out-of-state students.
“That’s something that I don’t have much tolerance for – and I don’t think any of our board does,” Ramsey said.
UNC System move to Raleigh
The board also heard an update on plans to move the UNC System Office to Raleigh by the end of 2022 and eventually consolidate the UNC System with the NC Community College System in a new, $100 million structure, as required by the state budget adopted in November.4
Board members Pope and Leo Daughtry both questioned whether the Dec. 31 deadline for the initial move is realistic, given Raleigh’s highly competitive real-estate market and the fact that the System hasn’t yet retained a broker to rent office space.
“We never had an opportunity as a body, as a Board of Governors, to discuss whether it is a good thing to do,” said Daughtry, a former majority leader in the N.C. House.
The board should discuss whether to move the System Office to Raleigh, given its current real-estate market, move somewhere else, or not move at all, Daughtry said.
But Ramsey said he detects no interest by legislative leaders in such a discussion. “This is signed into law, and I think we need to do everything we can to comply,” he said.
1 https://www.northcarolina.edu/apps/bog/doc.php?id=66584&code=bog, pp. 33-34.
2 https://www.dailyadvance.com/news/local/ecsu-police-respond-to-bomb-threat/article_195f827e-b2d0-5aa6-b868-9df8ea79706d.html; https://cardinalpine.com/story/are-they-trying-to-get-all-hbcus-students-families-react-to-bomb-threats-at-ncs-historically-black-colleges/.
4 https://www.higheredworks.org/2021/12/art-padilla-on-moving-the-unc-headquarters/; https://www.higheredworks.org/2021/12/wiles-merger-will-not-improve-community-colleges/.
Mike Mullen says
Perhaps President Hans should check data before saying “There’s not another public university in the country that can say that.”
For example, Purdue, another great public university, has frozen tuition and many fees since the fall of 2012.
Its great that we can do this. I just hope that all of these changes don’t gut the research universities as we push to level the field across all institutions. Even Chair Ramsey recognizes the stress that these decisions have on maintaining a comprehensive university.
Not sure about the claims of Mr. Hans on being the only school system in the country to keep tuition from rising. Purdue University is a public school, and they have frozen tuition for 11 years. That being said, I certainly appreciate the efforts of the system to keep education affordable!
George Spransy says
Moving the UNC Offices to Raleigh is an absurd idea, meant to pander to a highly partisan legislature. Do not let it happen! The Legislature needs to let educators be educators and quit trying to micromanage the University System. It has done enough damage already.