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.

ECSU comparison costs for in-state and out-of-state residential students:
Download ECSU NC Promise brochure


Who is eligible for the NC Promise Tuition Plan?

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.


Does this apply to part-time students?

Tuition will be prorated for part-time undergraduate students. Specific per-hour tuition costs are still being developed.

How will these schools continue to offer high-quality education while dropping costs?

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

How will this affect competition for admission?

The three universities 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