The UNC Board of Governors’ Committee on Budget and Finance voted on Wednesday to freeze tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn that’s affecting many North Carolina families. The full board will approve the decision at its May meeting. Prior to the pandemic, the Board was planning to increase tuition and fees by up to 2.5 percent.
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UNC institutions also plan to offer in-person classes beginning in the fall. Schools in the system have begun to release tentative plans:
- East Carolina Chancellor Ron Mitchelson released a statement on April 27, saying, “We intend to be back on ECU’s campus in the fall, although we will do so while taking the necessary precautions, informed by the most reliable and current data and research findings.”
- On April 29, North Carolina Central Chancellor Johnson Akinleye issued a statement, saying, “As we prepare for Summer Sessions One and Two, which begin May 26 with all online course delivery, we are also actively planning for the 2020-2021 academic year.”
- North Carolina A&T released the academic calendar for the fall 2020 term on May 18. “While we will be prepared to resume in-person instruction this fall, we are taking important steps to significantly reduce the number of students on campus in late November and December, to help manage community spread of infection,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beryl C. McEwen.
- North Carolina State Chancellor Randy Woodson issued a statement on April 23, saying, “We fully expect to have our new and continuing students on campus for the fall semester.”
- UNC Asheville issued guidance for students, saying, “UNC Asheville expects to resume in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester if public health conditions allow.”
- UNC-Chapel Hill’s coronavirus update page was more circumspect, saying, “We hope to open in mid-August, but in any scenario, the semester will likely have a different feel than the past. Details for the fall will be posted here when we have them.”
- UNC Charlotte plans to begin the fall semester two weeks later than originally scheduled.
- On April 29, UNC Greensboro Chancellor Franklin Gilliam issued a statement, saying, “UNCG expects to open our doors and arms to our students on campus, in person, this fall.” Classes will end by Thanksgiving.
- UNC Pembroke released its plans for fall, saying, “We fully expect and it is our present intention to be back in our classrooms, labs, and offices this fall.”
Other schools have not yet released specific fall plans, although Bill Roper, president of the UNC System, says the system is working with all its chancellors to make plans to open this fall. Roper’s most recent statement is available here.
Jenna A. Robinson is president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.