East Carolina University trustees on Dec. 15 approved a 5.9 percent increase in tuition and fees, less than the 6.5 percent maximum increase allowed by a new policy adopted this fall by the UNC Board of Governors.
The percentage represents a $215 annual increase in tuition and fees for the fiscal year. In-state, full-time tuition for undergraduate students is now $4,003 annually. The proposal will go before the UNC Board of Governors this spring for approval.
“We would not submit this proposal to you without support of student congress and the Student Government Association,” ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said.
ECU’s Student Government Association approved the increase Nov. 13. If approved, ECU students will see a $96 tuition increase, with $59 going toward student financial aid; $24 for faculty salary increases; and $13 for student access, retention, and graduation programs, Ballard said.
A reclassification for recreation debt service of $21 per student reflects a 6.5 percent increase in operating revenue over last year, but the reclassification of debt has no direct impact on what students will actually pay, according to ECU documents.
ECU students would also see a $119 increase in fees, which encompass non-academic programs such as student government and life, recreational services, health services, athletics and technology.
The tuition increase will generate approximately $1.12 million in financial aid for ECU students, Ballard said. ECU has historically demonstrated the most financial need of any other campus in the UNC system and it is a priority that ECU continues to meet the needs of its lower and middle-income students.
“Last year, ECU led, hands down, in the percentage of campus-based tuition that went to financial aid assistance. All of us should be proud of that,” Ballard said.
The Board of Governors approved a new policy Oct. 13 that directed campuses to set a maximum increase of 6.5 percent for student tuition and fees each year for the next four years. The policy directs universities to spend 25 percent of the increase in student fees and tuition increases on financial aid, and 25 percent of student tuition revenue on faculty salaries.