The state Senate on Thursday delayed voting on a bill that would set tuition at $1,000 a year at five UNC campuses.
Senate bill 873 sponsor Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, said UNC system President Margaret Spellings and some of the university chancellors at a meeting Wednesday requested a week to come up with a marketing plan for the $500-per-semester tuition. The bill was sent to the Senate Rules Committee and may be changed before it comes to a vote of the full Senate.
The bill would dramatically reduce in-state tuition at three historically black universities, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, and Winston-Salem State University; historically American Indian UNC Pembroke, and Western Carolina University, a majority white school.
The bill would also guarantee fixed tuition at all UNC schools for students who complete their bachelor’s degrees in four years.
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HBCU backers worry that the proposal would starve the schools and weaken their traditions. Apodaca said the aim is to boost enrollment at the smaller campuses and provide low-cost alternatives across the state.
At a committee meeting Wednesday, he promised the state would provide the $70 million a year to compensate for lost tuition revenue.