- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recent editorials from North Carolina newspapers:

Jan. 11

News & Record, Greensboro, N.C., on enrollment boost:

N.C. A&T;’s plan to increase enrollment mostly with more out-of-state students should be good for the university and for the state. The UNC Board of Governors was wise to approve it as a pilot program Friday.

This is a big move. It exempts A&T; from the UNC system’s rule limiting out-of-state enrollments to 18 percent of each freshman class. A&T; will lift that cap to 25 percent as it boosts overall enrollment from 10,500 to 13,500 over the next five years.

The strongest objection is that state university seats should be reserved primarily for North Carolina residents.

That’s a valid concern. Although no one’s child is guaranteed admission to a UNC system university, the idea is to provide as much access as possible.

Another goal is affordability. North Carolina taxpayers subsidize tuition for in-state students to hold their costs down.

Here’s what out-of-state students bring to A&T;, according to university data:

A four-year graduation rate of 32.8 percent for those entering in 2008, compared to 18.4 percent for in-state students.

A six-year graduation rate of 60.4 percent for those entering in 2006, compared to 37.8 percent.

An average SAT score of 986 for those entering in 2013, compared to 903 for in-state students.

Also, 34 percent of nonresident students who graduated from 2004 to 2009 were reported to be employed in North Carolina. The actual number likely is higher, but A&T; does not have information for 42 percent of graduates.

This means many of A&T;’s brightest students come from other states and stay in North Carolina after they graduate. Raising the enrollment cap will further strengthen the talent level in North Carolina - even as those students pay the full cost of their education rather than rely on taxpayer subsidies.

The university will use that additional revenue for scholarships and efforts to recruit and retain in-state students, Martin said.

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