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Appalachian’s Board of Trustees approves tuition and fee increase for 2010-11 academic year

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees has approved a 6.5 percent increase in tuition and fees for the 2010-11 academic year.

The proposal, which will be submitted to the UNC Board of Governors for approval, would raise undergraduate tuition $152 from $2,341 a year to $2,493. The trustees also approved a $350 increase in fees.

Trustees believe the tuition increase is needed to offset a potential loss of more than $1.9 million should the N.C. Legislature be unable to fund anticipated enrollment growth at Appalachian, projected to total the equivalent of 14,698 full-time students.

During the trustees’ Dec. 4 meeting, the board’s business affairs committee had considered proposing a 4.2 percent increase, but deferred voting on the matter in order to obtain more information about possible action in Raleigh in light of the state’s economic challenges.

The board approved the tuition and fee increase during a conference call meeting Thursday, Dec. 10.

“When the tuition and fee subcommittee originally met, there was an assumption we would receive enrollment increase funding, but that assumption is now at risk,” said Mike Steinback, chairman of the board’s business affairs committee. “We have heard about the fiscal uncertainties faced by the General Assembly, the Board of Governors and campuses across the state. Given those uncertainties and our fiduciary responsibility of making sure there is quality and value at Appalachian State, I think we have to prepare for the worst and approve the 6.5 percent tuition increase.”

The tuition increase would generate approximately $3.13 million in revenue that would address critical student needs for additional financial aid and counseling center counselors, and academic advisors.

Fifty percent of the increase would be directed to student financial aid under the UNC System’s “hold harmless” provision for students on need-based aid.

“I think it is imperative that we explore all possible sources of income,” said Board of Trustees chair Jeannine Underdown Collins. “It is the trustees’ job to continue to ensure that Appalachian provides a quality education to its students.”

Student fees, which are separate from tuition costs, cover services beyond academics. As part of the $350 increase, the athletics general fee would increase $10 to cover construction and operating costs of the new field house at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The health services fee would increase $20 a year. A $100 increase in the student union indebtedness fee would finance expansion of Plemmons Student Union.  Room charges would increase $200 to finance construction of a new residence hall on campus. The book rental and transportation fee would each increase $10.

In-state undergraduate students living on campus would pay $10,753 a year to attend Appalachian next year. Out-of-state undergraduates living on campus would pay $22,065.