University of Minnesota Tuition Fee Ranging From 1.75% to 3.5% – InForum

St. PAUL — Some University of Minnesota students can expect tuition increases of up to 3.5% next year — the largest in a decade for in-state students — under a budget proposal submitted Thursday to the board of governors.

Students at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will see a full 3.5% increase, while students who attend Duluth, Morris or Crookston will pay half of that.

The same rate of increase will apply to undergraduate and graduate students, whether or not they live in Minnesota. Those in professional programs will pay 0 to 5% more than they pay now, and additional fees for business or science and engineering students will grow to $1,250 per semester, up from $1,000.

The university described the hike in meeting materials prices as “well below the inflation rate”. Adding the roughly 35% of students whose family income makes them eligible for state and federal grants “all or a significant portion” of the increase is offset by increased state aid, said Julie Tonison, director of budgeting.

Fee increases vary by campus. At the Twin Cities campus, room and board will increase by 4.8% and mandatory fees by 5%.

Tonneson said that in order to keep student cost increases below inflation, departments will have to cut jobs, “find bargains” when buying, look for new sources of income, spend their reserves, and keep wage increases in check.

The pool of funds available to faculty and staff on merit will grow 3.85 percent next year under President Joan Gabel’s $4.2 billion budget. While this number is lower than inflation, it is significantly higher than recent compensation increases at the university.

The governors discussed the budget on Thursday but they won’t vote until next month.

Darren Rocha said tuition fees are too high, especially for overseas universities that struggle to compete for students with universities in neighboring countries. The budget includes $7.4 million in one-time funds to help these three balance their budgets.

“The Crookston, Duluth and Morris campuses have been hit hard this year by the tuition shortfall due to enrollment,” Tonson said.

Overall, Rocha said, “I don’t think we should make this debt problem any more difficult for a new group of students.”

Steve Svegum, a member of the Regent’s board of directors, said no one seemed to be happy with the budget, which suggests it’s fine.

Between 2001 and 2011, annual increases in tuition fees at the Twin Cities campus ranged between 3.5 and 14.7% for in-state undergraduates. In each of the nine years since, the increases have ranged from 0 to 2.5%.

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