Kaler Proposes 15 Percent Nonresident Tuition Hike at U of M

October 12, 2017 06:47 PM

The University of Minnesota's governing body will consider a recommended 15 percent tuition hike at the Twin Cities campus for out-of-state residents over each of the next two years.

President Eric Kaler's recommendation for fiscal 2019 was presented to the Board of Regents' Finance and Operations Committee Thursday.


Regents approved a 12.5 percent hike for nonresident tuition for 2018 in June. No action was taken on the proposal Thursday, and it will be considered at a future regents meeting.

The school said in a report the proposed increase would lift the university from near the bottom of the Big 10 in the non-resident tuition category, and bring it in line with the school's conference ranking for its in-state resident rate (7 of 14).

2017-18 Academic Year Tuition and Required Fees at Public Big Ten Universities Undergraduate, Non-Resident

  • Michigan: $47,476
  • Michigan State: $39,405
  • Indiana: $34,845
  • Wisconsin: $34,783
  • Penn State: $33,664
  • Maryland: $33,606
  • Illinois: $31,988
  • Iowa: $30,609
  • Rutgers: $30,579
  • Ohio State: $29,695
  • Purdue: $28,794
  • Minnesota: $26,603
  • Nebraska: $24,187

Data from The University of Wisconsin Office of the Provost

"I think there's an equity and a fairness issue that here the residents of Minnesota are paying for a very high quality education at the middle of where similarly-situated students in the Big 10 would be for being residents," said Brian Burnett, the university's senior vice president for finance and operations. "And for a long time we've had a really good price for nonresident, non-reciprocity students, and I think you could make a fairness discussion as well as just the overall mix that we want to have between residents of Minnesota and nonresidents from other states."

RELATED: U of M Regents Approve $3.9 Billion Budget for 2018; Includes Tuition Increase

A student board member, however, said she was "deeply uncomfortable" with the proposed hike because, as she sees it, many nonresidents choose the university because of its relative low cost.

"(The current rate) drives many talented out-of-state students to pick our institution over our competitors and makes our institution community more diverse and vibrant," said Apoorva Malarvannan, a student representative to the Board of Regents. 

Do you agree with University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler's recommendation to increase nonresident tuition by 15 percent? Let university officials know how you feel.

The current nonresident rate equates to $24,986 per year. The recommended increase for fiscal 2019 would bring that rate amount to $28,734, an increase of $3,748, the school's report says.

After two years at the new rate, the non-resident tuition-plus-fees total at the Twin Cities campus would be about $35,000. The university estimates the proposed increase would amount to about $10 million in additional revenue. 

The report says that Kaler's recommended operating budget would also include investment in recruiting and retaining nonresidents, though it didn't include specifics. 

The schools says it increased rates for non-residents at the Twin Cities campus an average of 7.7 percent in each of the past four years. The university had fallen to the bottom of the Big 10 in nonresident rate due in part to an effort starting 10 years ago to build a pipeline from other states to the Twin Cities by keeping rates low.

Burnett said that despite the 12.5 percent nonresident tuition hike instituted this year, the school saw an increase in its nonresident and international populations. 

The hike should not affect students from Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota, states which carry specific reciprocity agreements with Minnesota. Those can be found here

Fiscal year 2019 begins July 1, 2018. 


Michael Oakes and Josh Rosenthal

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