UNCG Tuition and Fee Position
Educating and supporting students at UNCG is financed in four ways: tuition, fees, state appropriations, and philanthropic donations. These funds make it possible to provide all of the academic programs, student support (like advising, tutoring, and physical and mental health services), campus safety initiatives and resources, campus experiences, artistic and creative events, wellness activities, athletic activities and events, and community resources that our students and our community expects.
UNCG is consistently ranked very highly when compared to many other public universities in terms of access, affordability, and value (or “bang for the buck”) thanks to our relatively low tuition, especially for the 90+% of our students who come from North Carolina. The relatively low tuition rates for in-state students are made possible because the North Carolina legislature provides additional funding in the form of state appropriations or tax dollars to reduce tuition and fee expense. But tuition and appropriations only pay for some of what happens in our classrooms and on our campus.
For us to fully meet our commitment to our students and the citizens of North Carolina to provide a quality education, world-class research, a vibrant student experience, and meaningful services to our community, additional funding is necessary. As is true for most universities, we have particular fees that help us meet those needs. Even in “normal” times, fees are required for the university to function even when people are not on campus or particular services are not in use.
Nationally, the average student fees for a public, doctoral university like UNCG exceed $11,000. At UNCG for the 2020-2021 academic year, fees for full-time undergraduates in on-campus degree programs will be just over $7400. All universities in the UNC System submit their proposed fee structure and dollar amounts first to their campus Board of Trustees and then the UNC Board of Governors for approval. Per UNC System policy, the proposals must be informed by student and faculty feedback.
Fees are established through an extensive, collaborative process that includes administrators, Staff and Faculty Senate representatives, senior executives at the University, and perhaps most importantly, a diverse group of student leaders who represent different student populations (Student Government, undergraduates and graduates, residential and commuter).
Required student fees support programs, services, and facilities on campus and online for which state funds are not available and/or cannot be used. Fees are necessary to serve our students while they are here, and they help us protect, maintain, and operate our campus even when they are not. Even more, in these immensely challenging times, we must develop and implement a wide range of systems and programs to support students in new ways and ensure when things do return to something more normal, we are ready and able to provide students with what they deserve and expect from UNCG.
All of our students, except for those in programs that are formally designated as “distance learning,” will continue to have access to facilities, programs, and services this fall either on campus or virtually regardless of their particular mix of classes (face-to-face, hybrid, or online), although clearly there may be limitations based on public health considerations and mandates. Details here.
UNCG exists to provide education to our students and propel them into meaningful lives with career and socioeconomic advancement potential. UNCG does not make a profit, and we invest everything we can into the service of our students and our community. Put another way, when any of the sources of funding are cut, reduced, or lost, there are real and significant impacts to our ability to deliver access, excellence, and impact for our students and the greater North Carolina community. Facilities may close, academic programs may be cancelled, and people may lose jobs. This is a sobering but very real component of our current highly complex situation.
Every institution in the UNC System—and therefore every administrator, faculty member, parent, student, and individual whose livelihood depends on our universities—is facing massive uncertainty this fall. We know that all of you in our community have unique pressures, concerns, and conditions that impact how you are approaching the semester. Because there is so much complexity, the UNC System has provided guidance to every institution about fees and tuition as follows:
“As we are all working to be ready to provide in-person instruction and on campus experiences for our students, we are also preparing for the contingencies that the COVID-19 crisis may require us to address. We cannot predict if some or all instructional formats for all or part of the 2020-21 academic year may change due to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees directly impact our ability to provide meaningful educational programs, experiences, and services and will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-21 academic year.” Note: In case of another major disaster, the University will follow UNC System Office refunding guidelines.
The only way for us to plan for the year, operate to the best of our ability, deliver the quality academic experience you demand, and ensure that we remain open and operational when we emerge from the current public health crisis is to manage our financial situation across the System consistently in this manner. We have and continue to share your feedback and your concerns. We understand them. Our goal here is to be transparent with how our financial operations work and what you are paying for when you come to UNCG. Details on specific use of fees is below.