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Minnesota State offering a fall tuition freeze

St. Paul – The colleges and universities of Minnesota State are ready to welcome students, both back to campus as well as online, and are greeting them with a freeze on undergraduate tuition for fall semester.

“The undergraduate tuition freeze for fall semester is a sign of our commitment to affordability and a compelling incentive for students,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “Every one of our 30 colleges and seven universities stands ready to welcome students back fall semester and are prepared to help them achieve their educational goals – whether they are just starting college, continuing on their educational journey, or going back to school to retool their skills for new job opportunities.”

Tuition at the colleges and universities of Minnesota State is the lowest of all higher education options in Minnesota, starting at approximately $5,000 per year at the 30 Minnesota State colleges and $8,000 a year at the seven state universities – before scholarships or other aid. The move to freeze undergraduate tuition for fall semester will keep rates at the level charged for fiscal year 2020. A three percent tuition increase will go into effect spring semester 2021 to fund inflationary costs and long-term financial and programmatic sustainability.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid pivot to alternative modes of delivery for spring semester, Minnesota State has been adapting its curriculum and preparing its facilities to allow in-person instruction and co-curricular activities to resume. For fall semester, the colleges and universities of Minnesota State will offer a mix of on-campus and online courses reflecting how each institution can best support its students and their success. Plans for fall semester prioritize the safety of students, faculty, and staff, include strategies for learning and campus activities, social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and will be refined as federal and state guidance changes.

“Thanks to the incredible work of our faculty, our staff, and our students,” Malhotra said. “We have tremendous flexibility to quickly pivot to either more restrictive or less restrictive modes should conditions change.”

Enrollment for summer session has been steady, but Minnesota State is bracing for a potentially significant impact on enrollment for fall semester. Enrollment is a high priority for the system, which serves 65 percent of Minnesota resident undergraduate students. Minnesota State is also the largest provider of higher education for the state’s low-income students and students of color and American Indian students.

“These populations are already disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, making it even more difficult for them to return to their studies in the fall or choose to attend college at all,” Malhotra said. “Ensuring these students persevere in their education is critical to the future of our state.”

To address the potential impact on fall semester enrollment, Minnesota State is actively reaching out to both current students as well as our prospective students to ensure they have the latest information.

One initiative to drive enrollment for fall semester is an expansion of the Workforce Development Scholarship program that is making nearly 2,200 scholarships of $2,500 each available to students who enroll in programs leading to high demand occupations in healthcare services, advanced manufacturing, information technology, transportation, early childhood education, or agriculture. Additional information on this program is available at MinnState.edu/wds.

The system also launched the Elevate Minnesota Scholars campaign that targets students who are planning to study outside Minnesota and encourages them to rethink their plans and stay closer to home as they work toward their educational goals and help to build their communities. Under this campaign, for a limited time, participating colleges and universities will waive the application fee.  Additional information is available at MinnState.edu/Elevate.

The colleges and universities of Minnesota State serve students at campuses in 54 communities across the state and offer 3,900 academic programs – more than 700 fully online.