Our opinion: An educated movePublished 10:11am Friday, June 21, 2013
We are glad to hear the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees honored their agreement with legislators this week when they voted to freeze tuition rates for college students next year, which includes students at our own Riverland Community College.
While the long-term effects of the state legislature’s enormous $2 billion tax plan remain to be seen, one of the bright spots to come out of this year’s legislative dealing is an increase in higher education funding, something the state has drastically lagged behind with in recent years.
With student debt only increasing — studies show a college graduate will accrue an average of more than $25,000 in debt to pay for school — any help students can receive is a benefit. Community colleges and technical schools are assuming an increasing role in higher education as well, since career and technical labor is in increasing demand.
That’s why it’s important for colleges to make student tuition as affordable as possible: With an increased need for the kind of jobs you can learn to do at postsecondary institutions like Riverland, any sort of financial help is welcome. Officials say tuition at Riverland and other two-year public schools across the state will average about $5,360, already higher than most would like to see.
It’s good to see colleges taking student tuition seriously, so more students can get the education they need. Lets find more ways to decrease tuition, albeit without a subsequent tax increase.