UNC system considering more out of state students

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 09:07 PM

CHAPEL HILL — The board of governors for the University of North Carolina system is considering whether to admit more out-of-state residents to the colleges and universities.

Board members say bringing in more out-of-state students would improve the talent pool in North Carolina and strengthen historically minority campuses, The News & Observer of Raleigh (http://bit.ly/12KW6Qd) reported.

Some schools near North Carolina's borders with other states have space available for more students.

The move comes as the UNC system faces another round of budget cuts.

"This is really about attracting talent to North Carolina potentially, rather than raising revenue," said Peter Hans, board chairman.

Enrollment of non-North Carolina freshmen has been limited to 18 percent of the total at the public schools.

Previous discussions of expanding out-of-state enrollment have been criticized by both the public and political leaders.

The schools say data shows 45 percent of out-of-state students are employed in North Carolina three years after graduation, a boost to the economy.

One idea being considered is to drop tuition for out-of-state students so that campuses with space can attract students from nearby states.

Gov. Pat McCrory and some members of the House have proposed out-of-state tuition increases of about 12 percent at high-demand campuses such as North Carolina State and UNC-Chapel Hill, and a 6 percent increase at others.

UNC President Tom Ross said any change should be made on a trial basis to determine its impact.

Some board members questioned whether it was wise to drop tuition to attract out-of-state students at a time when budgets are shrinking.

There also are concerns that adding out-of-state students could reduce the number of slots for North Carolinians.