Posted: July 16, 1997

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

State colleges and universities see average 2.4 percent increase

The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) approved today (Wednesday, July 16) an average 2.4 percent tuition increase over last year for the system's universities and two-year colleges. A full-time student on average will pay an additional $48 per year more, or $1.07 per credit.

The tuition increase for MnSCU institutions is the smallest in more than five years. Students at two-year institutions will pay 2.1 percent more than last year, and state university students will pay an additional 2.9 percent. Other costs to students, including room and board rates and student fees, were frozen previously by the trustees.

"A recent state report showed that the price of college in the United States is rising faster than medical care, or any other good or service," said Morris Anderson, MnSCU chancellor.

"Affordability is key to access, so we are gratified to ease the rapidly increasing rate of tuition at our state colleges and universities.

"Thanks to the action by the 1997 Minnesota Legislature, our tuition increases are at or below the rate of inflation," he said. MnSCU students pay approximately 35 percent of instructional costs; state appropriations and other revenues cover the remainder.

Under the base tuition rate, the cost per credit for community college and technical college students starting in the fall will average $42.65 per credit. Tuition costs at state universities will average $53.95 per quarter credit and $80.37 per semester credit. Non-resident undergraduates at two-year institutions will pay an average $85.30 per credit and an average $120.95 at the state universities. Resident graduate students will pay an average of $82.57 per credit, an increase of $2.51.

The board of trustees sought stable funding for all MnSCU institutions, at least equal to fiscal year 1997 levels. As a result of legislative action, the allocation for some MnSCU institutions was below last year. Based on final audited enrollments, distribution of the United Technical College Employees (UTCE) settlement and closure of fiscal year 1997, MnSCU will dip into reserves to guarantee funding for every institution at the prior level. In the 1998 legislative session, MnSCU will seek replacement funds and new institution allocation language.

"MnSCU institutions continue to be a bargain for students," said Chancellor Anderson. "Our average resident tuition for full-time state university undergraduates is $2,424, compared with an average tuition of $3,969 at the University of Minnesota.

"A student selecting a university in northern Minnesota can attend Bemidji State next year for $2,432, yet pay $3,452 at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, $3,911 at University of Minnesota-Duluth, or $13,050 at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth," he said.

The 1997 Minnesota Legislature appropriated an increase of $111 million for 1998-1999, in addition to $905 million of base state appropriation. The new funds comprise $66 million in base additions and $45 million for one-time purposes. MnSCU's institutions project budgets totaling $726,188,408, an increase on average of 4.5 percent system-wide. State dollars allocated to MnSCU institutions increased on average 3.1 percent system-wide.

(Table follows)

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities: Annual Tuition Increase--Fiscal Years 1992-1998

FY 92

FY 93

FY 94

FY 95

FY 96

FY 97
FY 1998
Technical Colleges 3.6% 4.35% 3.89% 3.08%
Community Colleges 9.02% 6.02% 4.96% 4.05%
MnSCU two-year Colleges 3.9% 4.3% 2.1%
State Universities 7.96% 8.05% 4.93% 5.1% 5.7% 5.9% 2.9%