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

Measuring poverty shows that government programs are working

Every year when the Census Bureau releases its ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

When the N.C. Senate elected Tom Fetzer to the UNC Board of Governors in March, it was widely seen a [...]

The 12 minutes spent on the phone with Duke Energy customer service shed no light on how — or if — c [...]

Crumbling ceilings. Failing air conditioning and heating systems. Broken down school buses. Mold inf [...]

This story has been updated with comments from Jim Womack, who did not respond earlier to questions. [...]

Last week, the General Assembly announced which legislators will serve on the Joint Legislative Task [...]

The latest effort in Washington to repeal and not actually replace the Affordable Care Act has a dif [...]

Conservative group “reviewing” bigoted attacks; funding from major NC corporations implicated Nearly [...]

5---number of days since Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham unveiled a new proposal to repeal [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more