In 2007 the University of Minnesota cut out of state tuition by about 30%.  This had the perhaps desirable effect of attracting more out of state and foreign students to the U because of comparatively bargain basement prices.  Although this tactic may have succeeded in raising numbers for the rankings such as GPA and ACT/SAT of incoming students, this situation needs to be re-examined.

Can we afford to pass on the additional revenue that would be generated by raising out of state tuition and fees at least to the averge of BigTen public universities?  Should we be taking out of state students at bargain basement prices while declining admission to qualified Minnesota applicant?

From USNews:


Institution    Out of State Tuition

Michigan 36,163

Illinois 27,782
Michigan State 27,832
Indiana 27,689
Penn State 27,114
Purdue 26,662

Wisconsin 24,300

Iowa 23,713
Ohio State 23,604

Minnesota 15,293

Big Ten Average = 26,015

So the University of Minnesota is $10,722 LESS than average.  The next lowest tuition in the BigTen - at Ohio State - is $8,300 higher.  Wisconsin charges $9,00 more and Iowa is very close to Ohio.

What, exactly, is going on here?  Why are we foregoing this income?

I believe it is because the administration hopes that with these bargain basement fees, it wil be able to draw students from out of state and out of the country who will have the kinds of high numbers that will allow the university to rise in the rankings.  This is NOT a justifcation for foregoing revenue OR squeezing out qualifed Minnesota applicants.

It is time for the Board of Regents to revisit this issue and ask some hard questions.  Why is it that our competitors can attract out of state students with significantly higher tuition prices?  Some of them, at least, are lower on the academic totem poll by whatever standards one cares to use.

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