UNCG discuss hikes in fees, tuition

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UNCG (WGHP file photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s probably going to get a little more expensive to attend UNCG next year — maybe as much as $258 more expensive, according to the Greensboro News and Record.

A UNCG committee looking at student fees for the 2015-16 academic year is poised to recommend raising required fees by about $61 — a 3.5 percent increase over this year, but the increase is $2 less than last year’s.

The Greensboro News and Record reports that a university committee examining tuition for the next school year hadn’t made a recommendation before an on-campus forum Monday to talk about college costs.

The UNC Board of Governors this summer capped tuition and fees increases at 5 percent in each of the next four years.

If the UNCG tuition committee recommends an increase of 5 percent, that could add another $197 per year onto the bills of UNCG students.

Those increases could help push the cost of tuition and required fees for in-state undergraduates to about $6,644 next year. Out-of-state students pay significantly more.

“We have not made any final decisions,” said Cherry Callahan, vice chancellor for student affairs.

UNCG Chancellor Linda Brady will make a formal tuition and fees proposal to university trustees Dec. 5. The Board of Governors is expected to consider next year’s college costs at its Feb. 27 meeting.

At Monday’s forum, UNCG officials said the university might raise tuition to put more money toward financial aid, give raises to faculty and professional staff, and increase academic-advising efforts.

Higher fees would cover, among other things, improvements to the campus wireless network and increased costs due to inflation.

UNCG officials said they’re trying to keep increases to a minimum because they know students are taking on more debt to attend college. Officials also noted UNCG’s annual tuition and fees are about $2,500 below national averages.

But several speakers questioned the university’s priorities because two proposed fee increases will go for intercollegiate athletics and the new student recreation center under construction on West Lee Street. Speakers suggested UNCG would be better served by spending money on instruction, not athletics or recreation.

Other highlights from Monday’s forum:

  • UNCG said it might raise the student activities fee by $145 two years from now. The money will cover the expense of opening the new student recreation center, which will be more than twice as large as the existing facility. UNCG officials said they might need special permission from the Board of Governors to raise the fee so steeply in one year. This amount would increase UNCG’s student fees by 8 percent; the Board of Governors board has capped annual fee increases at 5 percent.
  • The Board of Governors this summer said universities can use no more than 15 percent of tuition revenues for need-based student financial aid. Several UNC schools — most notably UNC-Chapel Hill — exceed that cap. UNCG spends about 14 percent of tuition on aid. If UNCG increased financial aid spending to the cap, it would have an extra $865,000 available for needy students.
  • State lawmakers gave the UNC system $5 million for faculty raises this year. UNCG’s share was about $277,000. The university said Monday that 182 professors — nearly 22 percent of the faculty — got raises that averaged $1,699 each. The university did not say how professors were selected for raises.

Source: Greensboro News and Record