U regents approves tuition increase for Twin Cities students

Published 10:50 am Monday, June 13, 2016

By Peter Cox

MPR News/90.1 FM

Despite protests from some students, tuition will increase at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.

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The U’s Board of Regents approved a $3.8 billion budget Friday that will increase resident tuition by 2.5 percent, or $306 per year. Tuition for new students from states without a reciprocity agreement will see an increase of 7.5 percent, or $1,550 per year.

The current undergraduate resident tuition is $12,240 per year. Non-resident, non-reciprocity tuition is $20,660.

The bump will be smaller for current non-resident, non-reciprocity students — 5.5 percent.

University President Eric Kaler said the tuition hikes are due to several factors, including a lack of increased funding from the state Legislature.

“We do not want to place an unfair burden on our students and their families,” he said. “I don’t like an increase, but given stagnant state support, this fiscal year commitment to excellence through academic and research investments, inflation of key cost drivers and the need to be competitive in compensation we have developed what I believe is a reasonable and prudent approach to tuition.”

Kaler stressed that the tuition hikes won’t affect resident students at the U’s other campuses.

He also pointed out that the budget includes funding to offset the tuition hike for students who come from families that make $120,000 a year or less.

As a result, about 10,000 students won’t be affected by the increase, according to the university.

The budget also boosts tuition for non-resident, non-reciprocity students at Morris — up 16.8 percent — and the University of Minnesota Duluth up 2.5 percent.

Tuition has climbed steadily for out of state students on the Twin Cities campus since 2011.

It’s the biggest resident tuition increase since 2012.

After the opening gavel for the meeting about two dozen protesters, including former and current students, began chanting and walked in front of the board holding signs.