Thursday, a UNC Board of Governors committee approved and passed the tuition and fee increase proposal for next school year. The full board is expected to vote on the amount Friday.
UNC System President Tom Ross recommended increases that averaged nearly 9 percent.
He said Thursday that it has been a struggle, since the deep cuts in state funding have made some schools in the UNC system less competitive when it comes to recruiting and retaining top faculty.
"I'm certain recommendations aren't perfect, but they are the right direction and the right step for us to take in this difficult and defining moment," Ross said.
He added that the increases would only partly address the $414 million cut from the system's budget by lawmakers last year. The 16 university campuses and the School of Science and Math in Durham have eliminated more than 3,000 employees since then.
Students are planning demonstrations to protest the increases Friday.