NC Budget and Tax Center

Post Secondary Education Increasingly Out of Reach

One of the untold stories of Governor McCrory’s budgetBTC_NeedBased Aid is the lack of investment in the UNC system’s need-based aid.  Given the fact that the Governor has prioritized the preparation of North Carolinians for jobs of the future, it is surprising that he hasn’t recognized the importance of need-based aid to increasing completion rates.

The evidence on this point is clear.  Need-based aid can support students to completion by reducing their need to take on jobs to pay for school or to take on high cost loans.  Moreover, future jobs will increasingly require some type of post-secondary credential or degree, according to analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Workforce and Education.

As we have written about in the past, a bachelor’s degree provides students with not only an earning boost but some level of protection against unemployment.  But the benefits extend beyond the individual to the broader economy: an educated workforce trained for jobs and for active participation in their communities contributes to the state’s competitiveness and quality of life.

The Governor’s budget invests just $122.6 million in the UNC Need-Based Aid program, down from a Great Recession-recovery peak of $173.25 million in 2010-11.  The result would be 10,393 fewer students receiving need-based aid.  And while tuition at North Carolina’s public universities continues to rise, more and more students will find it difficult to afford a post-secondary education.

2 Comments


  1. Doug

    April 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

    It could be a good thing. College attendance is becoming too watered down by allowing too many people in who should be looking at other avenues rather than taking on massive debt for a degree that will not get them a job. There needs to be investment in other avenues such as skilled trades that are slowly dying because a lot of people are in a university paying for the fake degrees our UNC system puts out.

  2. david esmay

    April 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Doug, where are the jobs for these skilled trades people in NC? Right now the market is flooded with Engineering and Construction management degrees to the point where companies are requiring them for Superintendent jobs. In NC it doesn’t matter what you study, the only offerings involve low paying, no benefit service jobs, not quality long term opportunities.

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