RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Around 250,000 students attend North Carolina’s public college campuses every year. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly the population of Winston-Salem.

For seven straight years, undergraduate in-state tuition, within the UNC System, has stayed the same. UNC System president Peter Hans plans to continue that stretch into year eight, making North Carolina the only state to make that consecutive achievement.

Hans said, “We want world-class college education to be within the reach of every North Carolinian, and the way we do it makes it affordable. And thanks to the public support that the University of North Carolina enjoys, that’s possible.”

Much of that public support comes in the form of tax dollars, placing N.C. in the top five states for per capita funding for higher education. It’s a major contributor in keeping tuition lower than private institutions.

Hans will make the recommendation for the flat rate for the 2024-2025 academic year to the UNC Board of Governors in September. This comes after all 16 campuses navigated a pandemic and are dealing with higher costs due to inflation.

“We’re trying to manage our expenses in a very fiscally responsible, disciplined way so that we don’t pass along costs to students and families,” said Hans.

While about half of UNC System students take out loans to fund their education, Hans hopes the flat tuition rate will keep any student debt at a minimum.

“And it is so different than other states that we’re not nearly a part of that national conversation about student debt levels. We want to avoid any students going too far into debt, particularly when they graduate to go ahead and not have that hanging over them,” Hans said.