Posted: July 16, 2003
Contact: Doug Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-201-1426
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees today approved tuition for the next two academic years that will result in average increases of 12.5 percent in tuition and fees each year.
Full-time students will pay an average of $3,578 in tuition and fees for the 2003-2004 academic year, or $399 more than last year. In the 2004-2005 academic year, the average tuition and fees for a full-time student will be $4,025, an increase of $447 over the previous year.
The board, however, left the door open for adjustments in the second year if financial circumstances change.
"We are very concerned about the escalating cost of attending college," Board Chair Mary Choate said. "While the 33 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities still offer the most affordable higher education in the state, the reduction in state support means we need to ask our students to share an increasing proportion of the cost."
The increases follow a $191.5 million reduction in the system's state appropriation for the 2004-2005 biennium, which amounts to a 14.8 percent cut from the system's adjusted base budget. Besides increasing tuition, the system is balancing its budget by using some reserve funds and reducing staff, class offerings and student services.
Nearly 300 full-time-equivalent instructional and staff positions are being cut across the 33 state colleges and universities and the Office of the Chancellor, according to preliminary information. Positions are being reduced through layoffs and attrition and leaving positions vacant. Students on many campuses will see fewer class sections and larger classes, cutbacks in services and some program closures.
Tuition alone, not including fees, would rise by an average of $380 or 13.6 percent over the previous year, bringing average tuition for the coming academic year to $3,179. Average tuition for the 2004-2005 academic year was set at $3,623, or a 14 percent increase over the previous year amounting to an average of $444.
After consultation with students, each of the 33 state colleges and universities proposed its own tuition increase for approval by the board.
By type of institution, the proposed increases would be:
Two-year state colleges:
- For 2003-2004, average annual tuition and fees, $3,419, or 12.2 percent over last year;
- For 2004-2005, average annual tuition and fees, $3,834, or 12.2 percent over the previous year.
Four-year state universities:
- For 2003-2004, average annual tuition and fees, $4,328, or 13.9 percent over last year;
- For 2004-2005, average annual tuition and fees, $4,922, or 13.7 percent over the previous year.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System comprises 33 state universities, community colleges, technical colleges and combined community and technical colleges located on 53 campuses across the state. The system serves approximately 235,000 students annually in credit-based courses and another 130,000 in non-credit courses.