CHARLOTTE — University of North Carolina students won’t be refunded for tuition or fees this year if campuses return to online classes, officials said. University of North Carolina system officials have voted to keep tuition rates the same regardless of whether classes move online because of coronavirus concerns.
The UNC Board of Governors voted Thursday that tuition and fees charged for the 2020-2021 school year will remain in place and not be refunded if the school system is forced to move to online learning because of the coronavirus.
Thursday’s split vote by the school system’s Board of Governors also keeps the same fees for athletics and student activities. The board’s resolution says the current rates are important in sustaining essential services.
“I just feel like it’s really inconsiderate considering there’s a lot of people coming from out of state,” said Karmen Nguyen, UNC Charlotte student. “I know they need to maintain the campus and there’s things they have to pay for but at the end of the day, we can use that money elsewhere. Why am I paying for a class that I’m not really attending? I’m attending from home. I feel like we should get some of that money back.”
The vote comes as the school system continues to prepare for different scenarios for its budget amid the coronavirus pandemic. One board member who pushed back against the measure says the system would be overcharging tuition if classes were to move online.
“I feel like that’s a rip off,” student Mekhi Patrick said. “As far as online, we might not get the full benefit of a class.”
A spokesperson for UNC sent Channel 9 the full resolution that passed Thursday morning:
“The UNC System and each of its universities are preparing for the return of students for the fall semester. We recognize that some instructional formats for parts of the 2020-21 academic year may need to change in response to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is understandable that there will be questions about how our institutions will approach tuition and fees during this challenging time. From the perspective of this Board, it is important that our universities continue to operate and provide instruction and essential services, and the tuition and fees that we collect are important to sustaining this important mission not just for today’s students, but for the students who will attend our institutions in the future. Therefore, I move that the Board affirm that the tuition and fees charged for the 2020-21 academic year will remain in place and shall not be refunded by any institution regardless of any changes in instructional format that may occur for any part of the 2020-21 academic year.”
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