The trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted to approve a proposal that would raise in-state tuition by $2,800 over the next five years.
Students who attended the board meeting urged the trustees to delay the vote, but Chancellor Holden Thorp said it was "imperative" to vote Thursday. Some students carried signs urging board members to vote against an increase.
The vote would raise tuition for in-state undergraduates by $800 in the 2012-2013 year, with the rest of the increase rolling out over the following four years.
Before the increase takes effect, it has to be approved by the UNC system Board of Governors and state lawmakers.
Trustees said the increases will help keep faculty members from leaving and maintain the quality of education at UNC.
ECU Trustees will meet next week to consider a tuition hike.