Schools 'begging' to be re-written into SB873
- A controversial bill capping in-state tuition at $500 per semester for five public universities in North Carolina, which drew protest and forced the removal of three historically black colleges from the plan, may include two HBCUs in its final language after all.
- The News & Observer reports that Senate Bill 873 may include Elizabeth City State University and one other institution, weeks after bill author and NC State Senator Tom Apodaca removed it, Winston-Salem State University and Fayetteville State University from the bill amid demonstrations.
- HBCU advocates remain concerned about language in the bill which promises gap funding to cover revenue losses from the lowered tuition, but which may be voted down in future budget years.
North Carolina has seen its share of legislative controversy in recent years, and SB873 did not help to make its case as a state seeking diversity or caring about the financial implications of policies tied to its current administration.
Advocates of college affordability support lowered tuition, but likely would not support any measure not accounting for full operations and protection of endowment when revenues are guaranteed to plummet. Many HBCU supporters worry the move will lead to perceived promotion of academic inferiority disguised as financial salvation for minority college students.
Leaders in North Carolina are working to ensure the bill guarantees financial protection over a reasonable number of years, but some remain skeptical about the permanence of state appropriations to compensate for the lost tuition revenue.
- The News & Observer HBCUs still under consideration for lower tuition