The UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees recommended a $199 tuition increase for the 2012-13 school year, but left student fees unchanged, in part to keep the total cost to students as low as possible.
The recommendation from Chancellor Kyle R. Carter represents a 7.1 percent year-over-year increase for tuition and a 4.2 percent increase when tuition and fees are combined. The recommendation must be approved by the UNC Board of Governors.
“The $199 tuition increase is part of our four-year plan to catch up to the benchmark of the bottom quartile of our peers,” Chancellor Carter said.
UNCP trustee and student representative Brian McCormick said students are opposed to the increase and voted against it. Chancellor Carter, who proposed the increase to the board, pointed out that the money generated from the increase will be go toward programs that help students. Half of the increase, he said, will fund student success efforts; one quarter of the increase will go to need-based financial aid, and the remaining 25 percent will fund a merit-based aid program for students.
In response to a question about how UNC General Administration would react to a recommendation of no tuition increase, Chancellor Carter responded: “The concern is that we’ve lost $9 million this year in budget cuts, and faculty and staff have not had pay increases in four years. It would send the message to UNC General Administration that we didn’t need the $9 million or that we are not serious about our goals for retention and graduation rates.
“Our students need financial aid after cuts in state funding and the likelihood of cuts to the federal Pell Grant program,” Dr. Carter continued. “It’s not a good choice.”
McCormick, who is president of UNCP’s Student Government Association (SGA), thanked administrators for their assistance to the association’s Tuition and Fee Committee. He said 100 percent of the students on the committee opposed raising tuition and fees more than $140, and two-thirds of the committee members voted against any increase.
The SGA members also voted against the tuition hike, McCormick reported.
The Board of Trustees approved the proposed increase by a vote of 10-2. After the vote, board chairman Dr. Robin Cummings praised McCormick and the students.
“Let the students know this was not an easy decision,” Dr. Cummings said.
Trustee Kellie Blue said UNCP continues to offer “an affordable education. We are still very marketable and very affordable.”
Trustee Newy Scruggs said the dream of the college education still lives at UNCP. “I feel for you,” he said. “What you have is idealism, but realism must be served. We have a $9 million budget hole to fill. I admire you (McCormick) and what our kids have done here.”
In addition to the tuition increase, the price of meal plans and student housing will increase slightly next year, based on the board’s recommendation, in order to reflect cost of living increases. Meal plans will rise $40 or 2.2 percent and housing approximately 2.2 percent.