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Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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Report: Rising Tuition Affects Student Success

Rising college costs are making it more difficult for North Carolinians to pursue higher education. (hmm360/morguefile)
Rising college costs are making it more difficult for North Carolinians to pursue higher education. (hmm360/morguefile)
August 19, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina in the last eight years has reduced its spending per student enrolled in higher education by 20 percent, and a report issued this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says these kinds of cuts are having an impact on students' potential for success.

In addition to cutting services, public universities in the state are raising tuition. Michael Mitchell, a CBPP senior policy analyst, said the high cost of college is putting a lid on what graduates can achieve after college.

"High levels of debt, even with a diploma, can prohibit newly graduated individuals from starting their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs," he said, "which of course has implications not only for their own lives, but for the communities that they live in that would have benefited from having an additional entrepreneur."

Overall, the reduction in state funding adds up to $2,400 less each year per student, when adjusted for inflation. North Carolina did increase higher-education funding by 4.6 percent in the last year, but public colleges and universities are still working with less funds than they did before the recession.

While the slight funding increase in the last budget cycle helped, Mitchell said, North Carolina's public colleges are still left to figure out how to address the needs of their students, with fewer dollars.

"As states have made these cuts to higher education, schools have had to make decisions about increasing tuition, or they've had to cut their own campus budgets," he said, "which means that they're providing fewer services, there are fewer extracurricular activities, class sizes may get larger."

Nationwide, the CBPP report said, funding for two- and four-year colleges is $10 billion below what it was just prior to the recession. Nationwide, on average, tuition has increased by 33 percent. It said schools are not only raising tuition, but cutting faculty positions, eliminating course offerings, closing campuses and reducing student services.

The report is online at cbpp.org.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC