UNC takes much needed tuition 'pause'

August 11, 2013 

North Carolina’s university leaders have long boasted that the state’s public higher education system is a bargain, and indeed it’s so rated in various national surveys. But those who dismiss objections to tuition hikes with the “it’s still a bargain” argument sometimes fail to recognize that the constitutional mandate that a UNC system education be “as close to free as practicable” isn’t just about money. It’s about the state’s commitment to future generations and about the return on investment the state gets by providing education to all.

Many a successful business person, educator or doctor in the state credits the inexpensive education he or she got as the main reason for success, for the fulfillment of dreams.

Tuition at UNC system campuses, particularly the larger ones, has increased too much in the last 15 years or so. Current UNC President Tom Ross acted judiciously in calling for a freeze on in-state tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year. Instead of looking to tuition to make up perceived gaps, all universities are being asked (by no less than President Obama, among others) to seek efficiencies and savings and to hold down expenses that have skyrocketed in recent years. Amen.

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