CHAPEL HILL — The UNC-Chapel Hill trustees passed a proposal today that would raise in-state tuition by $2,800 over the next five years.
Chancellor Holden Thorp and board members agreed that the proposal needed to move forward.
"We are running out of runway and that's why we are here," Thorp said.
The plan would raise in-state undergraduate tuition next year by $800, or 15.6 percent. Total in-state tuition and fees would increase from $7,005 to $7,795.
Out-of-state undergraduate tuition would rise by $1,622, or 6.5 percent, which would raise total out-of-state tuition and fees next year from $26,830 to $28,442.
Student Body President Mary Cooper urged the board to defer the decision until December. "I believe in order to find the right proposal we need to listen and consider all proposals," she said.
Students need to have predictability in their tuition in order to plan for the future, Cooper said. "Moderation is key in the midst of trying times."
Cooper presented an alternative to the $2,800 increase. Tuition would rise 6.4 percent for in-state students and 4 percent for out-of-state students. But incoming first-year students would pay a 5 percent supplemental increase. Cooper said the plan would be fairer to current students who are paying the price for diminished quality of education.
About 30 students gathered to support Cooper's proposal.
Board members said the $2,800 increase over the next five years would help maintain the quality of education offered at UNC-CH and retain faculty members who have not received a raise in three years.
"We will not be great unless we have a world-class faculty," Thorp said.
This five-year proposal, which now goes to the UNC Board of Governors for approval, can be revisited at any time, Chairman Wade Hargrove reminded the board.