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U of M Administration Continues to Ignore Issue of Student Debt

While Doing Spadework for Next Tuition Increase


We note that the propaganda machine (aka Driven to Discover) has been funded for an additional $400K. (See p. 25 of this link.) And of course the campaign to circumvent light rail on Washington Avenue has cost, how much?

There never seems to be a shortage of money when OurLeaders need to do a little PR or anti-PR, as the case may be.

So yesterday we receive yet another of those smug, self-congratulatory, and misleading messages from the University of Minnesota News [sic] Service:

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL ( 6/6/2008 ) -- Scholarship and grant assistance to University of Minnesota students on all campuses will reach a new high-water mark next year at more than $200 million.

Yes, and, wonder of wonders, tuition and fees have also reached a new all-time high, my friends.

The projected amount is roughly double the $104 million in grant and scholarship assistance students received in 2000-01.

And how much did tuition and fees go up since 2000-2001?


More than double!

According to university President Robert Bruininks, these numbers reflect a deep commitment [sic] to ensuring affordable access to a university education.

"Although tuition is usually the topic of greatest interest in the university's annual budget plan, a careful analysis of financial aid resources is always an important part of the budget process," Bruininks said. "As the level of grant and scholarship assistance indicates, the University of Minnesota is very committed to ensuring that it remains affordable for students from all income levels at all student levels."

Bruininks likes what he sees in these numbers, but said there is more work to do.

"Now that founders has been implemented for low-income students, our next priority is to provide more need-based grant and scholarship support to students from higher income levels," Bruininks said. "We must also continue to control costs, improve productivity and provide incentives and support for timely graduation. All of these things can make a dramatic difference in keeping higher education affordable for all students."

How about capping tuition increase to the rate of inflation, Bob? How about explaining why the debt load of Minnesota graduates is the highest in the BigTen (exception, Northwestern, a private school)?

And doing something about it...

(I thank a reader for one of the links that stimulated this post.)

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