Did You Know? UNC System Bucks Trend Favoring Out-of-State Students

Flagship universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other public universities were created by their states primarily to support the higher educational needs of in-state students.

Increasingly, however, in-state colleges are enrolling more out-of state students because they bring in more revenue. The Washington Post highlighted this trend and showed that in-state student enrollment at schools such as the University of Michigan has fallen 13 percentage points in the past decade to 51 percent. At the University of Alabama, which uses its football team to attract out-of-state students, in-state students made up only 32 percent of their 2016 freshman class.

So how do UNC-Chapel Hill and other UNC schools stack up? Surprisingly well.

In-state students make up 82 percent of the UNC-Chapel Hill student body and 89 percent of all students within the UNC system. With the exception of UNC School of the Arts, UNC schools all maintain high levels of in-state enrollment, largely because of a 1986 UNC Board of Governors policy which capped out-of-state enrollment at no more than 18 percent of total enrollment. When North Carolina high school graduates apply to college this fall, they’re likely to be surrounded by other local students.

David Waugh is a Martin Center intern. He is currently a student at Hampden-Sydney College, where he studies economics.