The University of North Carolina Board of Governors is considering a proposal to allow the state’s five historically Black public universities to admit more students from outside North Carolina as a way to increase revenues and improve the universities’ financial position.
At the present time, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University, and Elizabeth City State University are permitted to enroll no more than 18 percent of new first-year students from outside the state. The new proposal would allow these schools to enroll up to 30 percent of their new students from outside North Carolina. Four of the five HBCUs have seen a drop in enrollments this fall.
At Winston-Salem State University, for example, tuition and fees for the 2012-13 academic year were $4,941 for North Carolina students but $14,091 for out-of-state students. So increasing the percentage of out-of-state students would serve to significantly boost revenues.
But some observers don’t think the change will have much of an impact. In a statement, Donald J. Reaves, chancellor of Winston-Salem State University, said, “Currently, most of the HBCUs are substantially below the current 18 percent cap. If you can’t get to the current cap because out-of-state students are very expensive, then there is no way that you’ll get to a higher cap, regardless of what it might be.”