Uncategorized

Senate Budget Presents Changes to UNC System Funding Over House Proposal

In a now commonplace event in terms of budget proposals, the Senate has put forward a proposal that is slightly better for the UNC system than the House Budget.  State investments in educating our future workforce and leaders would still be 11 percent below pre-recession levels though at a time when projected demand for North Carolinians with bachelor’s degrees will increase significantly.

The two big differences, and perhaps most important areas of the UNC budget for expanding opportunity, were in enrollment funding and need-based aid.  The Senate would increase funding for enrollment growth by $1.3 million sufficient to cover the 780 students that enrollment is projected to grow by over last year’s estimates.  This enrollment growth was not fully funded in the House proposal. 

The UNC need-based grant program will see $35 million restored from last year’s cut with lottery funds rather than a state appropriation.  This is an important investment to make at a time when tuition is increasing significantly and families are struggling to make ends meet.  However, given that the source of funds is lottery dollars it is unclear if this represents an ongoing commitment to keep university affordable for low-income students.

Another area of major difference from the House budget is the allocation of $8 million ($6 million of which is recurring) to building reserves which will provide for the operation and maintenance of new or renovated UNC buildings.

One special provision is of particular note.  It would have the Fiscal Research Division study the tuition surcharge mandated last year and its effect on student’s achievement and graduation.  The tuition surcharge represents a 50% increase for students who fail or do not drop a course and take more than 110% of the credit hours necessary to achieve a baccalaureate degree.  Understanding the impact of this financial cost to student completion will be important to determining whether such punitive measures can support students success.

Check Also

Twelve more big policy changes buried in the N.C. Senate budget

There are a lot of issues with the ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A key House committee signed off on the chamber’s public school budget report Thursday, despite Demo [...]

Harold Brubaker, the former Republican House Speaker turned powerful lobbyist, tried to ram through [...]

A bill to limit local regulation of small cell towers is moving to a full House vote, despite concer [...]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the North Carolina GOP drew unconstitutionally racially ger [...]

The most shameful thing about the disastrous budget passed by the Senate two weeks ago is not the vi [...]

Court setbacks, public opinion, progressive activism and Trump bode ill for NC conservatives Profess [...]

So, the question as always comes down to one of vision. The elected chieftains who decide how much m [...]

2.8 billion---amount in dollars of needs in communities across the state for rebuilding efforts from [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more