Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Have it your way!

Or, in the end the students always seem to take the hit...

Mr B. has kicked around the topic of tuition reciprocity before, e.g., “Small Schools in ColdState and CheeseState Caught in Crossfire.”

The latest skirmish is reported in todays Star-Tribune. As usual the unintended consequences of this move seem not to be of concern to BigU administrators. They will, though, as we continue our march to greatness and demographics start to kick in.

U sets 2008 deadline in tuition battle

Minnesota says it will end the reciprocity pact unless Wisconsin agrees to changes.

By Mary Jane Smetanka, Star Tribune

Last update: June 04, 2007 – 11:35 PM

Tens of thousands of students in the two states use the agreement to attend college across state borders without paying nonresident rates. But U officials say the agreement is unfair.

Because of the way it is structured and because tuition increases in Minnesota have outstripped those in Wisconsin, Minnesotans now pay $1,200 to $2,700 more to attend U campuses than Wisconsin students do.
The U's line in the sand is being drawn three years after officials first asked for change in the agreement. Sporadic talks have yielded no result.

Wisconsin officials, including the governor, have been reluctant to change the agreement because they say it helps keep tuition affordable.

In 2005-06, 23,700 Minnesotans and 19,500 residents of Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa and Manitoba used reciprocity to attend college across state lines. In the school year that just ended, about 6,300 Wisconsin undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students attended U campuses.

At the end of each year, a complex formula is used to try to rebalance things financially between the two states. In December 2006, Wisconsin paid Minnesota $7.8 million. However, that money goes into the state's general fund, not to universities.

So, as has been pointed out before, the money is there. BigU doesn't seem to be able to pry it out of the hands of the state. Or at least that is BigU's position. Of course the state can say: "But we give you lots of money..." BigU's response: "Oh, then let's take it out on the students because there is nothing they can do about it." Reminds me of an old movie. Something about failure to communicate...


Mr. B.

No comments: