North Carolina’s Universities Are Affordable—But There’s Room for Improvement

Each year, higher education seems to become less and less affordable: As tuition prices continue to rise, an increasing number of students leave college with crippling amounts of student loan … Continue reading “North Carolina’s Universities Are Affordable—But There’s Room for Improvement”


Fun with Numbers: UNC-Asheville’s Economic Impact Study Is Marketing, Not Fact

Too often, universities use studies about themselves as marketing opportunities rather than a chance to understand reality. This is especially true with “economic impact” studies that purport to examine a … Continue reading “Fun with Numbers: UNC-Asheville’s Economic Impact Study Is Marketing, Not Fact”






Does North Carolina sufficiently support its public universities?

A new report from the Center for American Progress alleges that the “Great Recession” that began in 2008 devastated public university investments nationwide. Specifically, it says that over a five-year period, tuition has skyrocketed, states have withdrawn public investment, and low-income families have been pushed out of higher education.



Inquiry #19: Tuition Waivers at the N.C. School of Science and Math

Since the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) opened in 1980, the school has attracted some of the state’s top high school students to come to Durham study at the residential high school. At the school, students take college-level courses, and they have performed well on SAT tests and in national competitions and been admitted to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. In recognition of the school’s generally high level of academic achievement, in 2003 the General Assembly instituted a policy of waiving tuition charges for NCSSM graduates who enroll in any University of North Carolina institution. That policy, however, cannot be justified by any of the arguments advanced in its favor. It produces no public benefit, costs the state money, and unfairly discriminates in favor of NCSSM graduates.