WCU is growing and so are your bills for fees and tuition

A change of scenery is good.

But as the temperatures drop, Western Carolina is experiencing more of a change than the weather dictates.

And it is coming at a cost.

Western Carolina University is facing an increase in tuition and fees that will hit students for the academic year starting Fall 2014 and some even as early as January.  The Board of Trustee approved the increase of fees and tuition for out-of-state students for 2014-15 school year. According to the information from the WCU Office of Public Relations the mandatory fees for undergraduate students will go up for $52 annually. The proposed schedule of tuition and fees is subject to approval by the UNC Board of Governors and the General Assembly.

Read the stories explaining the increases as well as the impact on the students:

Student housing increases stirring the Western pot
Students losing appetite over dining increases
The high price of higher education
Price to park at WCU increases
WCU out-of-state students get 6 percent tuition increase

WCU celebrates 10,000 students mark in September 2013. Photo by Jake Myers.

Dr. Sam Miller, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, co-chairs the Fees and tuition committee and has been instrumental in the decision-making processes.  There are a multitude of factors involved, but none of them are less important than another.

“We always want to find ways to give our current students a value for what is happening,” Dr. Miller said in an interview.  “Whatever we can do, we’re always looking for ways to have an impact and be supportive of students in their academic goals.”

This year, the NC Legislature and the governor passed a budget in July for this fiscal year.  For next year, it mandated the university system could not increase tuition on in-state students.  But it also mandated that out-of-state tuition will increase by a certain percentage for UNC campuses.  Schools had to abide by either a 0, 6, or 12 percent increase.

Students have every right to gripe under the circumstances of the increasing costs of their education.  But a lot is blown out of proportion when all of the details are not put on the table.  The tuition and fee proposals are broad in scope, but each element has numerous specifics involved.

Most students aren’t aware of the specifics.  They see that prices are rising, but they don’t know why or where the money is going.

See what students WCJ talked to say about the increases in fees and tuition.

And where the money is going is the ultimate question.

To find the answers, check out the full interview with Sam Miller here.

You can also see the full interview with Chancellor David Belcher on WCU growth and increases in tuition and fees.

Reporters on the project: Hope Quinn, Jake Myers, Hana Haden, Anna Sorrention and Tyana Johnson.
Editors: Hope Quinn and Jake Myers.