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NC college tuition steadily increases over past decade - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

NC college tuition steadily increases over past decade

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Students are paying more than ever for a college degree, as tuition rates at our public universities in North Carolina have steadily increased over the past decade.

For example, in 2005-06 in-state students at ECU paid a little more than $2,000 a year. That’s now doubled to nearly $4,000 for this upcoming 2014-15 school year. ECU officials say is partially due to state cuts to the higher education budget.

"Legislatures are in a tight spot,” explains Rick Niswander, ECU’s vice chancellor for administration and finance. “There's a lot of pressures on their budget and if they decide that they don't want to increase revenues, that means you have to cut cost, and higher education is one of the places that historically, states across the nation have cut costs in."

It’s a problem affecting nearly every state in the country. At the same time, federal grant aid has declined by 10 percent, making it tougher for families to afford college for their kids in the wake of the recession.

"North Carolina, from a tuition perspective, is one of the lowest 10 states in the nation,” Niswander says. “Having said that, it still costs about $4,000 a year in tuition to send somebody to East Carolina University. Some families, that's not a problem. Some families, that's the big problem."

Despite the upward trend, in-state undergrads at UNC-system schools will actually not see a tuition increase this year from last. However, out-of-state grad students will see about a 6 percent hike.

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