This morning, a committee of the UNC system's Board of Governors will discuss, once again, tuition and fee increase proposals for the 17 campuses within the public university system.
The meeting comes days after UNC system President Erskine Bowles implored members of that board to consider lower tuition hikes than campuses had asked for.
Bowles is asking the board to slice each campus request by one-third, which is interesting given that the requests were all over the board. Some campuses, like UNC Chapel Hill, want to raise tuition at a level close to the 6.5 percent ceiling the board has set. Other campuses, like N.C. Central University, proposed to raise rates at far lower levels.
Yet, Bowles wants all requests cut by a third. That could make for an interesting discussion today, since campus chancellors are expected to plead their individual cases.
One other note - in reporting on these sorts of rate increases, we often report how campuses want to raise "tuition" and "fees." But the truth is, that's just a portion of what a student (or that student's parents) will pay in a year for that education.
I've always found this website a good gauge of the real costs of college. It is from UNC Chapel Hill's aid website, and shows that university's best guesstimate on the total cost of college.
It illustrates that tuition and fees for an in-state student from North Carolina this year totals $5,396. But what that student actually pays, after room, board, incidentals, books, travel and other costs reaches north of $16,000.
That's real money.