Students at Minnesota's seven state universities would pay an average of $233 more in tuition starting this fall — 3.4 percent more than last year — under a proposal released Monday by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.

The proposal, which would boost average tuition to $7,016 a year, would be the first tuition hike since 2012 at the system's four-year universities.

But students heading to Minnesota's two-year public colleges will be spared any tuition hike this fall. This spring, state lawmakers mandated a tuition freeze at the 24 community and technical colleges, which means that full-time students will pay an average of $4,816 a year for the fourth year in a row.

The board of trustees is expected to take up the proposal this week.

The University of Minnesota, which operates separately, is considering a 1.5 percent increase in tuition for state residents, and a 7 to 10 percent increase for nonresidents.

Officials at both the U and MnSCU had sought an increase in state funds to freeze tuition for Minnesota residents for two years, much as the Legislature agreed to do in 2013.

But this year, neither system got as much funding as it had requested, and officials say they need to raise tuition at the universities to keep up with rising costs.

MnSCU officials note that 69 percent of their students will see no tuition increase, thanks to the freeze at the two-year colleges. Under the legislative mandate, the same colleges will be required to reduce tuition by 1 percent in the 2016-17 school year.

Lawmakers did not set a tuition limit for the seven state universities, but they did insist that the rate remain the same for the next two years. The new rate would apply to Bemidji State; Metropolitan State; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University, Moorhead; St. Cloud State; Southwest Minnesota State and Winona State universities. Graduate students would face a proposed increase of $265 a year, or 3.7 percent.

Maura Lerner • 612-673-7384