Leaders of the University of North Carolina system are close to voting on a proposal that would raise tuition and fees by more than $400 on average.
A board of governors committee that oversees budget and finance issues is scheduled to discuss the proposal Thursday in Chapel Hill ahead of a planned Friday vote by the board.
UNC System President Tom Ross is recommending increases that average nearly 9 percent, running from $199 at UNC-Pembroke to $676 at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Ross says the increases will only partly address the $414 million cut from the system's budget by lawmakers last year. The 16 university campuses and the School of Science and Math in Durham have eliminated more than 3,000 employees since then.
Students are planning demonstrations to protest the proposal Friday.
UNC-Greensboro sociology student Juan Miranda of Charlotte says he's struggling to pay for school, which is becoming more and more of a luxury unavailable to working families. He and other students are trying to organize a bus caravan for a march in Chapel Hill on Friday before university system trustees vote.
An undergraduate student who is a North Carolina resident pays an average tuition and fees of nearly $5,300. The College Board reports that's nearly $3,000 less than the national average.
UNC System President Tom Ross is recommending raising tuition and fees by an average of 9 percent when the new academic year starts in August.