Public Institutions Limiting Access to Grants for Students
Career College Central Summary:
The board unanimously approved a cap that prevents UNC campuses from devoting more than 15 percent of tuition revenue to financial aid. For six campuses that currently reach or exceed the 15 percent threshold – including N.C. Central, N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill – tuition-funded financial aid dollars will be frozen.
Board members defended the vote as a prudent attempt to hold down tuition levels.–Fifteen percent is a reasonable limit, because most campuses are under that threshold, said board member Craig Souza, who led a work group that put the proposal together.
“We also have to keep our eye on the things that we can do to keep tuition as low as possible,” Souza said, adding that systemwide financial aid has grown dramatically in recent years, from $90 million in 2009-10 to $205 million in 2013-14.
Officials at UNC-CH warned that student indebtedness could double in a few years’ time with the new cap.
Some middle-income students will be affected by the change and will have to borrow more because they’re not eligible for government grants, UNC-CH administrators said. The median family income of UNC-CH students receiving financial aid is $60,000. About 43 percent of students receive need-based aid at the campus, which now sets aside 20 percent of tuition revenue for financial aid.
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