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Tuition hike planned for MBA students at the University of Minnesota shrinks

  • Blog Post by: Jenna Ross
  • June 1, 2012 - 3:47 PM

The tuition hike planned for new, in-state MBA students at the University of Minnesota has been cut in half.

Last month, a few members of the Board of Regents pushed back on the proposed 10.4 percent tuition increase for those students. Since then, it has shrunk to 4.8 percent.

The agenda for next week's regents meeting, released Friday, shows that President Eric Kaler is now proposing that residents in Carlson School of Management's daytime MBA program pay $762 more, bringing tuition to $33,230.

The difference in dollars isn't substantial, said Richard Pfutzenreuter, the U's chief financial officer. But "the percentage increase was a little alarming."

The proposed increase for non-residents remains at 1 percent, or $432, for a total of $45,000. Leaders of the Carlson School had proposed the bigger increase for in-state students in order to shrink the gap between the resident and non-resident rates.

They still hope to bring that gap to about $10,000, Pfutzenreuter said. "In discussions with the dean and with the president, the decision was to not move as quickly."

It was the disparity between the in-state and out-of-state increases that concerned several regents. During the budget's first reading last month, regents Laura Brod and David McMillan spoke out against the 10.4 percent increase.

As I wrote last month:

Brod said she rejects the argument given during a Thursday meeting that because MBA resident tuition is low, "we're seen as a regional school as opposed to a nationally acclaimed school."

"Raising tuition on local resident students to increase our profile nationally just doesn't make sense to me," Brod said. "I have a very strong concern about that tuition increase."

Now, the 4.8 percent increase for new, in-state MBA students matches that for continuing students.

The smaller tuition hike will affect about 57 students in the coming school year, said Julie Tonneson, associate vice president for budget and finance. About 110 students -- from Minnesota and elsewhere -- enter Carlson's full-time MBA program each year, according to a U website.

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