Since 2018, Kenan-Flagler School of Business students have paid a Performance Enhancement Fee, designed to enhance undergraduate business programs and provide students with resources such as academic advising and global scholarship.
That fee has remained the same since its inception four years ago, but that could change soon.
As the program expands and enrollment increases, Kenan-Flagler is seeking to increase fees for incoming freshmen, commonly known as “business school fees,” as early as the fall 2023 semester.
Through 2022, Kenan-Flagler is seeing an 11 percent increase in majors and a 66 percent increase in minors, according to a statement from Jordan Hale, assistant dean of the undergraduate business program.
“We share that the PEF has made it possible for us to increase the size of our workforce to serve (students) in all aspects of UBP, especially in enhancing career guidance, global programs, scholarships, wellness and student engagement programs,” he said. in the statement.
Business majors currently pay $1,000 per semester, for a total of $2,000 per year, according to Hale’s statement. The proposed increase would raise the annual rate for freshmen by $1,000. Business minors previously paid $1,000 per year, which may increase to $1,500.
For students eligible for need-based aid, the fee will be waived and the fee will continue after the proposed increase.
Shimul Melwani is the Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Business Program. There is also a secondary program for any student experiencing personal financial hardship, she said.
Inflation from 2018 to 2022 also affected the program, with increased costs for UBP-wide activities and study abroad programs, Hale explained.
This month, the program solicited feedback from business and pre-business students by organizing town halls, student surveys and social media posts about the fee increase. Hale said \The students were very concerned but seemed to understand the need after learning more.
“In our interactions with students, most have asked why the fee is needed, how the fee is being used, whether now is the right time to increase the fee, who will pay the fee and support those who may not have the resources to pay the fee. fees,” Hale said in the statement. “They also highlighted the importance of holding schools accountable for how fees are used.”
Melwani said the program didn’t get as much student feedback as they had hoped, with only about 100 survey responses among 800 current students and about 1,000 applicants.
“Of the students who took it, we had about 10 percent who said they supported it, and another 15 percent who said they didn’t care either way. Of course, there were a lot of people who weren’t particularly enthusiastic or supportive of it,” May said. Alwani said.
Sophie Cho, co-chair of UBP’s Committee on Community, Equity and Inclusion, said that while she understands the potential growth, the timing of the proposal is not ideal due to recent tensions at Kenan-Flagler.
“This increase will help fund really essential staff working directly for students, but I think the way and timing of all this is really unfortunate,” Cho said.
Cho said the general consensus she had gathered was that students felt it was necessary to increase fees to remain competitive with other undergraduate business courses.
However, Cho also said that resources need to be maximized, so for students, the cost is worth it.
“Furthermore, it’s important to just emphasize expanding community equity and inclusion in the program so that even when resources exist, our students feel like they belong in the program and they can easily pursue those resources for which they ultimately pay,” Cho said.
While the proposal has been submitted to two separate advisory committees, Melvaney said it must be approved by the UNC Board of Directors and Board of Governors before it can be enacted.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a proposal. It’s a multi-step process that goes through many different agencies at UNC and then in the system,” Melwani said.
To get the day’s news and top stories in your inbox every morning, sign up for our email newsletter.