The average increase is 3.9 percent for in-state undergraduate tuition at North Carolina's 16 campuses.
System President Erskine Bowles has urged the board to keep tuition as low as possible.
The increase is less than one-third of what campuses had requested.
State budget officials have told UNC to expect budget cuts up to 7 percent this year because of the declining economy.
Under the hike, undergraduates will pay as little as $71 more at East Carolina University to as much as $432 more at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
The rates still have to be approved by the state Legislature.