What is NC Promise?

The North Carolina Promise Tuition Plan is a program of the State of North Carolina established with the intent of increasing access to a quality university education through the University of North Carolina system. Beginning Fall 2018, NC Promise will dramatically reduce student costs at three UNC system campuses: Elizabeth City State University, Western Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Undergraduate students enrolling Fall 2018 at any of those three institutions will pay only $500 for in-state and $2,500 for out-of-state tuition per semester. The remaining cost of education will be covered through NC Promise.

Campus-related fees for students and on-campus residency costs apply, so it is important for parents and students to understand the full cost of attendance. tuition chart


Who can get the NC Promise Tuition?

All undergraduate students attending Elizabeth City State University, Western Carolina, and UNCP will pay the reduced student tuition costs beginning in Fall 2018. This includes both new and returning full-time students, part-time students, transfer students, students in online programs and international students. No application is needed, and there are no eligibility requirements to take advantage of NC Promise.

Please note these changes do not apply to graduate programs.


Will the reduced tuition lessen the quality of education at these schools?

No! The NC Promise Tuition Plan will not affect accreditations, academic offerings, student support or campus experience. In fact, the reduced cost is likely to allow the institutions to attract the highest quality students, resulting in an enhanced learning environment.


How will these schools offer the same education while dropping costs?

The state of North Carolina will match dollar for dollar the difference between our full tuition price and the NC Promise Plan Tuition Plan cost. The end result is affordability for students without sacrificing our quality.


Will this cost increase over time as tuition typically does?

Because the specific amounts are included in legislation, increases to the $500 and $2,500 student tuition costs will have to be set by the state legislature as needed in response to inflation or other factors. At this time, we do not know whether increases over time are intended or will be considered.


Why did our state decide to create the NC Promise Tuition Plan?

This significant investment in access to higher education honors the state’s constitutional commitment to make higher education available to all citizens “as free as is reasonably possible.” It also supports economic development in the state by helping North Carolina meet demands for a well-educated workforce, increasing recruitment of high-performing out-of-state students, and decreasing college indebtedness.


Why are these three universities included?

The three participating institutions are strategically located in different parts of the state, providing proximity of access to a majority of citizens. In addition, each of the campuses has a historical mission of providing an accessible education. Plus, the three schools offer different academic programming, providing for a wide variety available to prospective students.


Is this partly a response to decreasing enrollment at these schools?

Although ECSU has seen some enrollment decline, legislators have not indicated this was a significant factor in the establishment of this new program.


How will this impact my admission for Fall 2018?

We expect a higher than normal number of applications beginning Fall 2018. While a set tuition price is guaranteed through NC Promise, admission to these three universities is not. A larger applicant pool will likely increase competition for available space in each incoming class.