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Fire Sale on Tuition at the U - for out of state students, that is...

There is a very interesting letter to the editor in the Strib today. This situation is a consequence of our administration's attempt to game the numbers as a part of our ambitious aspirations to be one of the top three public yadda, yadda.

The way this works is we offer ridiculously low out of state tuition to non-residents. Our market rates are only about $2000 over in-state, whereas our competition is more like $10000. This allows us to pick high scoring (SAT, ACT, etc.) students from out of state and get up our numbers, at least that is the hope of the geniuses in Morrill Hall.

Meanwhile qualified Minnesota residents are denied admission. It is exactly this kind of behavior that feeds the public's bad impression of the University. There is a reason why the U is an easy target for the charge of elitism and arrogance - because there is some truth to it.

Time for a change, President Bruiniks? Let's get back to the same price differential as our (legitimate) competition. Trying to cherry-pick at the expense of Minnesota residents is inappropriate behavior.


TUITION HIKE AT THE U

Make out-of-state students pay more

Recent articles covering undergraduate tuition increases at the University of Minnesota have discussed only in-state tuition. We must also examine tuition for students from other states.

Beginning in the fall of 2008, the University of Minnesota adopted a new tuition structure for new nonresident students that set their tuition at $4,000 per year more than resident tuition, resulting in a nonresident tuition (including fees) of about $14,600 for new students. This is about $7,000 less than the $21,500 they would have paid had they matriculated the previous year.

While I support the concept of attracting top students from other states, I do not believe that such a drastic nonresident tuition reduction was necessary to do so. Data for the 2008-2009 school year from the College Board website shows that the other nine public universities in the Big Ten Conference have much higher nonresident tuitions and much greater differences between resident and nonresident tuition. Minnesota is far more generous than the other schools.

Minnesota had the lowest nonresident tuition -- about $14,600 (including fees) vs. $21,800 to $33,000 at the other schools. Similarly, Minnesota had the lowest difference between resident and nonresident tuition at $4,000, compared with a range of $11,000 to $22,000 at the other schools. Minnesota would still compare favorably if nonresident tuition was set at $8,000 above resident tuition (about $18,600).

Due to the economic downturn and state budget crisis, the University of Minnesota should modify its nonresident tuition structure to reduce the burden on in-state students.

TEMA ROSENBAUM, PLYMOUTH

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