Recap of open Zoom forum on tuition and fees at WCU for the 2021-2022 year

Recently, WCU SGA hosted an open Zoom forum, also streamed on Facebook, that covered several updates on tuition and fees for students. Participants to the zoom call were: Sam Miller, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and a co-chair of WCU’s Tuition and Fees Committee; Donna Reynolds, Executive Assistant of Student Affairs; Rebecca Hart, Director of Operations for SGA and Student Representative for the Tuition and Fees Committee; Dawson Spencer, a co-chair of WCU’s Tuition and Fees Committee and Student Body President and Robert Walker, Director of Campus Services.

Students and parents that registered were permitted to join the Zoom call and ask questions over chat, while speakers on the panel also fielded questions and concerns from others through the Facebook livestream.

The open forum lasted a little over an hour and much was covered in regard to upcoming tuition and fees at WCU. For those that missed the online webinar, or want to go back and view the information, the presentation is linked on WCU’s website and can be viewed as a pdf here: Tuition and Fees Presentation PDF.

Some of the main topics covered in the Zoom meeting were the process for setting tuition and fees, student input on tuition and fee proposals and proposed tuition and fee increases. While these were the main talking points, several questions and concerns from students and parents were also addressed as well.

In touching on the process for setting tuition and fees at WCU, Sam Miller explained that the process was very complex. “This process includes multiple steps and begins with WCU’s budget hearings process,” said Miller. After WCU proposes tuition and fees, those propositions must be approved by the WCU Board of Trustees. Once approved, those proposals become part of the NC state budget process and are finalized when the Governor signs the state budget into law.

While the Tuition and Fees committee at WCU works at collecting information for tuition and fees from many areas, “Overall, our biggest charge is to get student input into the proposed increases every year,” said Sam Miller.

The committee spends a lot of time looking at student financial aid information to get a clear idea of what needs to be proposed and how the proposals are affected students financially.

Moving forward, NC Promise, a program for ECSU, UNC-Pembroke and Western Carolina University undergraduates is still in effect and will continue into the next school year as well, giving in-state students a $1,000 yearly tuition rate and out-of-state students a $5,000 yearly tuition rate.

During the Zoom forum, three proposed increases were brought up: a new mandatory health fee, an increase on the residence hall room rates and an increase on book rentals. More information on the increase in those fees may be found in the aforementioned presentation listed on the WCU Tuition and Fees Committee page on the WCU website. Aside from those three proposed increases, all other tuition and fees will stay the same as the 2020-2021 school year.

As for the mandatory UNC system general fees, no changes are to be made in athletics fees, education and technology fees or student activity fees.

If the proposed increases are to be written into law, here are several estimated costs of tuition and fees combined with assumed on-campus residence hall and meal plans:

  • For NC undergraduate students the proposed changes will total $13,693 (an increase of $152 or 1.12% higher)
  • For NC graduate students the proposed changes will total $18,516 (an increase of $202 or 1.10% higher)
  • For Out-Of-State undergraduate students the proposed changes total $17,693 (an increase of $152 or 0.87% higher)
  • For Out-Of-State graduate students the proposed changes will total $28,923 (an increase of $202 or 0.70% higher)

The Tuition and Fees Committee at WCU would like to hear from students and parents alike on the proposed increases. Those looking to voice and opinion on the proposed increases can complete the Tuition and Fee Committee survey here.

For more information on proposed increases or general information on tuition and fees at WCU visit: