Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that she plans to include $35 million in her budget to help ensure that working families across North Carolina can send their children to our state's public universities.
"The new leaders in the General Assembly imposed deep and unnecessary cuts to the UNC system -- at the same time, we're seeing sharp increases in tuition rates," Gov. Perdue said. "I am committed to making sure that middle-class families who work hard and play by the rules are able to send their children to college. That's why I propose that we invest additional dollars in UNC need-based financial aid."
In their 2011-12 budget, the Republican-controlled General Assembly cut 12 percent -- more than $347 million -- from North Carolina's public university system. In addition to their other higher education cuts, the General Assembly spent $35 million less on UNC need-based aid than was spent in 2010-11. As a result of the General Assembly's cuts, the number of students receiving grants dropped by about 9,000 students (from 66,000 in 2010-2011 to an estimated 57,000 in 2011-2012).
Gov. Perdue's 2012-2013 budget recommendations will include at least $35 million, which will restore the loss of funds and expand the program to needier student recipients.
Established in 1999-2000, the need-based aid program provides grants for needy undergraduate resident students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours at one of the UNC institutions.