Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuition Increase for Next Year At the University of Minnesota?

For a change the administration has put their cards on the table at the beginning of the academic year. I have some problems with this plan, but congratulate them for not waiting until the last minute to make public their target figure as they did last year.

More to come.

September 5, 2008

Tuition relief for students from middle-class families and increased pay for faculty and staff are the highlights of the legislative budget request that will be unveiled next week to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

University President Robert Bruininks is proposing a two-year request to the Legislature that would increase state spending by about $142 million.

If approved by the Legislature, the average tuition increase would be 4.5 percent per year across the university system in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

"It's a pretty modest request to the state relative to the requests we've made over the last 10 years," said Richard Pfutzenreuter, a university vice president and chief financial officer. "It's in recognition that the state has some budget problems."

The request represents a 9.8 percent increase over the previous biennium. The regents will hear Bruininks' budget plan when they meet on Friday.

The new program -- which would cost about $8 million annually -- will be need-based and for resident students from families making between $50,000 and $100,000. Pfutzenreuter said that a student from a family making $100,000 might receive only $500 in aid while a student from a family making $50,000 might receive $4,000.

About 65 percent of the school's undergraduates would be eligible for the awards that would average $1,700, Pfutzenreuter said.

After tuition on the Twin Cities campus went up 7.25 percent for the 2008-09 school year, the university is trying to limit increases over the next two years.

More than $95 million of the new money would be used to increase wages for faculty and staff at all of the university's campuses. The average raise would be 3 percent annually, but some employees would see larger or smaller increases.

The remaining funds would be used to enhance research and research infrastructure.

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