Riverland tuition frozen in MnSCU budget

Published 10:16 am Thursday, June 20, 2013

By Austin Daily Herald staff  and the Associated Press

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system approved a budget Wednesday for the 2014 fiscal year that freezes tuition for its colleges and universities, including Riverland Community College.

MnSCU’s $1.9 billion budget uses a state funding boost to hold next year’s tuition to this year’s rate. Fees will stay nearly flat.

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“Affordable tuition, together with grants to address unmet financial need, will help open the door to educational opportunity for students from all backgrounds,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone in a news release. “With this budget, we remain the state’s highest value, most affordable higher education option by significant margins.”

The Star Tribune reports combined, tuition and fees will average $7,344 at the seven state universities, just $3 more than last year. At Riverland and Minnesota’s other public two-year colleges, the price tag will be $5,360.

The board of trustees unanimously approved the 2014 budget, which spends $61.9 million more than in 2013, a 3.4 percent increase. The plan includes a 2.6 percent compensation increase for faculty and staff. It pledges $22 million in reallocations.

Changes in the State Grant Program will result in more MnSCU students receiving grants in the upcoming academic year. The largest increases in the numbers of state grant recipients — 35 percent at the colleges and 21 percent at the universities — are projected to occur among part-time students.

More than 200,000 students are enrolled in credit-bearing courses in the MnSCU system.