Senator Jim Perry (R – Wayne) was the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 225, “Repeal Tuition Surcharge,” which was signed into law this week. The new law repeals the UNC System’s 50 percent tuition surcharge penalty for students who take longer than anticipated to complete their degrees.

Senator Perry said, “I appreciate the original intent of the surcharge. Our world has changed over the last couple of decades, and we have gathered a great deal of data on this topic. The surcharge was really impacting non-traditional students who were making attempts to improve their personal productivity. We don’t need to place additional barriers in front of people who are working to better their lives.”

Senator Perry introduced the bill after a constituent brought the problem to his attention. After researching the issue further, Perry, a first-year legislator, worked with the chairs of the Senate Education Committee and his colleagues in the House of Representatives to shepherd this bill to final passage.

“I was a community college transfer student, and the first in my family to graduate from college. My mother did not have the money to help pay my tuition, much less a 50% increase. My grants, loans and GI Bill were all stretched thin. If I had faced a 50% surcharge, I would never have earned degrees from NCSU and UNC. There are a lot of folks in North Carolina with similar stories. This is good, common-sense legislation for the people."

“The General Assembly has been working to make college more affordable in North Carolina with efforts like NC Promise, and our Fixed Tuition Program. This bill continues the good work of my colleagues in the Senate and House.”