RALEIGH--The State Board of Community Colleges Finance Committee discussed a local tuition surcharge proposal Thursday afternoon.

That proposal would give colleges the option to charge an additional amount on top of the state's tuition rate, but not greater than 10 percent.

"All of our community colleges charge the same tuition rate for resident tuitions, resident students that's $76 per credit hour. So, obviously, at the 10 percent rate maximum, you'd be looking at $7 to $8 per credit hour,” said NC Community Colleges executive vice president and chief financial officer.

All the proceeds would remain with that college and benefit campus projects, in addition to relying on state funds that are currently pooled and shared by the 58 community colleges in the Tar Heel State. 

Haygood says enrollment is projected to be slightly down, systemwide this fall and extra funds are needed.

"Our colleges, many of which feel like they are struggling to meet those student needs, and feel like this would be another tool for them to consider to better meet the needs of their communities,” said Haygood.

Additionally, the state board is expected to discuss the possibility of community colleges offering four year bachelor's degrees in nursing on Friday. It's an issue that was tabled by the board back in October.

As it stands now, 90 percent of community colleges currently offer two-year nursing degrees.

However, as the industry continues to change, The North Carolina Institute of Medicine has recommended increasing the proportion of bachelor's prepared nurses to 80 percent by 2020.

"We've received some inquiries from our 58 colleges on what it would mean. We're anticipating based on discussions, they'll be some action on that proposal,” saID NC Community Colleges Interim President George Fouts.

On Friday, the State Board will consider four recommendations, including approving the funding for a third-party feasibility student for the four-year nursing degree.

The Community College President’s Association is expected to decide by the end of the month if they want to move the surcharge proposal forward.