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Governor's Blog

Freezing Tuition at Public Colleges and Universities

9/8/2014 10:14:43 AM

Governor Mark Dayton speaks with students from Minnesota State University, Mankato

Governor Mark Dayton speaks with students from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

After nearly a decade of cuts to higher education funding, tuition skyrocketed at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). From 2001 to 2014, tuition at the U of M more than doubled from $5,002 to $13,626 for state residents. Left unchecked, ever increasing tuition costs and increasing debt are a tax on the future of Minnesota students and a drag on our state's economy.

Access to a high-quality education should be available to all Minnesotans and not just students who can afford to take on costly loans. In 2013, we froze tuition at the University of Minnesota and the MnSCU systems schools to halt the trend of double-digit cost hikes. This helped make college more affordable for 282,000 students.

Minnesotans agree that everyone who works hard in school deserves access to higher education. This tuition freeze begins to restore balance in Minnesota's educational system. It also will help ensure our students for the future economy.

Importantly, the higher education budget signed by Governor Dayton also increases accountability at public colleges and universities. We can't afford to hand our higher education institutions a blank check. To ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely the new budget requires the University of Minnesota agree to increased public oversight. This additional scrutiny will help us better understand how our schools are spending money and identify new areas where we can save money.

These efforts are only part of larger effort to control college tuition costs and help all Minnesotans get a world-class education that prepares them for the future.


Greater Minnesota

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