Under the Dome

NC bill proposes “fixed tuition” for UNC schools

In-state students admitted to UNC system schools would enter with a guarantee that their tuition would not increase if they graduate within four years under a Senate bill filed Tuesday.

The bill would also drastically lower tuition at three of the state’s historically black universities - Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, and Winston-Salem State University - and two other schools - University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Western Carolina University. In-state tuition would be $500 a semester at those schools. Out-of-state students would pay $2,500 a semester.

The flat tuition would begin this fall, and the $500 per-semester tuition at the five schools would begin in 2018.

Senate bill 873, sponsored by Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, would also require the UNC Board of Governors to consider lifting the 18 percent out-of-state student cap at those five schools and evaluate the effects of changing their names.

The bill would establish a merit scholarship for NC Central University and N.C. A&T State University students that would fund four years of tuition, fees, room and board, textbooks, supplies, and travel.