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Appalachian’s Trustees approve tuition and fee increases

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees has approved increases in tuition and fees for 2013-14 academic year. The trustees approved a $230 increase in tuition and academic fees and a $120 increase in general fees, which include educational and technology fees, athletics and student activities fees.

In addition, trustees approved a $44 increase in indebtedness fee, which includes a new infrastructure improvement fee.

The increases will increase total tuition and fees for the academic year to $6,356. In-state undergraduates currently pay $5,962 in tuition, academic and other fees. Increases in graduate tuition and fees also were approved. The fee increases will be submitted to the UNC Board of Governors for approval at their February 2013 meeting.

Trustees also approved increases in room and board, the book rental system and fees that support the AppalCart transportation system and the campus Safe Ride program.

An in-state student residing on campus next year will pay a total of $12,952 dollars.

The academic fee increase will be used to restore 10 faculty positions and restore library operating funds that were cut from previous budgets, and create six positions related to the university’s new Finish in Four initiative aimed at helping undergraduate students complete their degree in four years. The increased tuition will also fund an additional staff psychologist position in Student Health Service on campus to help address the demand for counseling services on campus.

The offices of financial aid and disability services will each receive funding for an additional position, and three athletic advising positions, previously supported by the Department of Athletics, will now be funded with academic fees. SGA President Jake Cox cast the only dissenting vote regarding the increases. SGA earlier had passed a resolution opposing funding the athletic advising positions as they would not benefit the entire student body.

A new fee implemented this year is a $14 infrastructure improvement fee. Greg Lovins, interim vice chancellor for business affairs, said that many institutions in the UNC system were implementing the fee to address the lack of state funds to address repairs and renovations on campuses. At Appalachian alone, he said, there was approximately $150 million in deferred maintenance needs.

Lovins said the infrastructure improvement fee would be used to renovate 15,000 square feet in Anne Belk Hall to house the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Anthropology.