UPDATE (Feb. 27, 2015 1 p.m.): Appalachian’s tuition will increase by 5 percent after the Board of Governors ruled Friday morning to approve UNC system requests for tuition increases.
After a one-year tuition freeze, the vote was 18-9, a close number for the BOG, while audience members could also be seen raising their hands to vote against.
In-state, undergraduate tuition with room and board will now total $13,872 for 2015-16 and $14,386 for 2016-17, respectively. Out-of-state will total $27,697 and $28,902.
Tuition could see a 5 percent increase for the next two academic years alongside a raise in student fees, creating additional revenue of approximately $8.6 million for the university by 2017.
Under the proposal, undergraduate in-state tuition with standard room and board will be raised to $13,872 for 2015-16 and $14,386 for 2016-17 respectively, while out-of-state will cost $27,697 and $28,902.
The university’s tuition and fees committees, which include four and six current students, respectively, presented proposals to Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, who then recommended them to Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees in a Dec. 12 meeting.
Carson Rich, student government president and member of both the tuition and fees committees, said Everts decreased a few fee proposals before they were submitted to the BOT.
The proposals will now be submitted to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for approval during their next meeting on Jan. 16, who can choose to approve them as is or make changes of their own discretion.
Rich said the increases cover a wide range of areas, including faculty raises and hires, textbook rental, housing renovations, and even food additions to Roess Dining Hall with the help of feedback taken from a student survey.
“The increases seem justified, but students expect follow-through,” Rich said.
Bradley Adcock, Director of ASU’s BOT said he feels the tuition and fee hikes are an appropriate amount to meet the university’s needs.
“It came to us from various committees on campus and we felt like it was in the best interest of the students and the university,” Adcock said.
Adcock said the proposal meets tuition increase guidelines laid out for all UNC-system universities by the BOG.
Five percent is currently the maximum number that UNC institutions are allowed to request as a tuition hike.
Kim Overcash, Associate Director of Student Financial Aid said financial aid amounts are adjusted for students to reflect raises in tuitions.
Overcash said amounts are also adjusted along with raises in fees, room and board as financial aid allotted for students is meant to be “an estimate of what a student may spend for an academic year and is also the maximum amount of financial aid a student may receive in total awards for which he/she qualifies.”
Appalachian has continuously been recognized for its affordability, including recent accolades such as Kiplinger’s “24 Best College Values Under $30,000 a Year,” Forbes’ “Top Colleges 2014: Best Schools, Best Value, Best For You” and Princeton Review’s 2014 “Best Value Colleges.”
Rich said he thinks it is important for students to understand that in the long run, the increases allow for changes to be made for the betterment of the school.
“Some things are being raised just so we can hire back some of the professors that we lost,” Rich said. “It’s not like the university is trying to break the bank on certain students but things have to increase. It’s just to get us back to where we were.”
Story: Laney Ruckstuhl, News Editor