Thursday, September 23, 2010

How Tuition Increases Are Really Determined

At the University of Minnesota...

I've maintained for quite some time that tuition is simply used as an adjustable parameter for balancing the budget at the U of M and that it is not directly related to the cost of education the way it should be if tuition were actually being used only for education at the U...

Here's confirmation:


Senate Committee on Finance and Planning

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ms. Tonneson [Office of Budget and Finance] reviewed data related to the University's existing base appropriation and scenarios requested by the state (cuts of 5%, 10%, and 15%).

They are looking at the implications of those three levels of cuts for both the existing legislative base (increased above the actual appropriation in the last session) and the actual base (which is lower).

A 15% cut in the existing base (a cut of $192.7 million) would require a 6% tuition increase to offset it;

a 15% cut in the actual appropriation (a cut of $279.5 million) would require an 11.8% tuition increase to offset it.

Ms. Tonneson emphasized that neither she nor the Budget and Finance office are advocating tuition increases; they only point out the implications of any reductions in state funding were the University to consider tuition as one way to offset the cuts.
So let's think about this a bit...

Is this a threat by the administration that a cut will lead to tuition increases?

Suppose the tuition increases actually occurred. Where would the money go? Would it go to educational expenses or elsewhere? And how would we ever be able to figure this out?

When will the charade in Morrill Hall end? When will we know the relationship between tuition, the state contribution, and the actual cost of education? How can we ever decide whether a tuition increase is justified?

Perhaps keeping us in the dark about all these questions is what Morrill Hall wants?

This has got to stop.

No comments: