North Carolina A&T is being penalized and fined for its rising enrollment of out-of-state freshmen.

The university will lose nearly $2 million in state funding for exceeding out-of-state freshmen enrollment limits for the second consecutive year.

Greensboro News & Record reports that the UNC System Board of Governors voted in favor reducing A&T’s budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year by $1,976,546, according to board materials available online. Per the news source, documents show the school had an over-enrollment of 171 nonresident students.

The board has a policy that penalizes any UNC System institution, except UNC School of the Arts, that exceeds its out-of-state freshman enrollment limit for two consecutive fiscal years by having its state operating budget reduced. The reduction is made in the second fiscal year connected to the violation and immediately after the board approves the annual enrollment report, according to its policy.

Years ago the UNC System Board of Governors revised the residency policy to increase the enrollment cap. North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central were allowed to admit up to 35% of out-of-state freshmen beginning in the Fall of 2022.

UNC System Board Member Joel Ford, an alumnus of North Carolina A&T and North Carolina State Senator (District 38), did not agree with the fine and asked for the vote to be pulled from the Thursday agenda.

“I cannot support this particular item punishing a HMSI (Historically Minority-Serving Institution) for ultimately, Mr. Chairman, for being successful,” Ford said. “We have out-of-state students who want to attend one of our institutions because of its history and because of their ability to make good and deliver on a promise to provide a high-quality education.”

He said while some campuses are struggling with enrollment, A&T is experiencing historical seasonal growth.

Fundamentally, I cannot support a policy that’s going to take $2 million away from a university when in reality they can use every dime they can get to continue that mission,“ Ford explained.

– UNC System Board Member & North Carolina State Senator Joel Ford

UNC System Board of Governors member, James Holmes responded by saying that the decision to penalize the university was “purely administrative and consistent with the policy that exists.”

Holmes also told the board that he spoke with A&T Chancellor Harold Martin, who he said “accepted the penalty.”

The board recommended that the funds be reallocated to its UNC Need-Based Grant Financial Aid Program for resident undergraduate students.

According to WFMY News 2, N.C. A&T spokesperson, Todd Simmons said in a statement: “The University has expressed regret over exceeding the cap. We have put oversight enhancements in place to prevent this from happening again.”