Tuition to touch $10,000

State funding is low and University spending is high; students pay.

According to the Board of Regents meeting last week, the University expects to raise tuition again next year. The state is draining funds and it remains to be seen how the University will give back to the students now paying even more tuition.

It is projected that Minnesotans will pay over $10,000 for the 2008-2009 academic year, and nonresidents will pay over $14,000 to attend. This is a 7.5 percent increase for families making over $150,000 and a 5.5 percent increase for those making less than $150,000. This is double the tuition of 1995 and $3,000 more than 2003.

The University has now positioned itself as one of the most expensive state universities in the country, outcharging the likes of UCLA, Berkeley, Wisconsin and Iowa.

The allocation of funds for higher education from the state has dramatically decreased. In 1997-1998, 71 percent of University revenue came from state allocations and the rest came from tuition. Next year, it will inch toward an even 50-50 split. On this year’s legislative plate, it seems as though transportation is the big ticket, and higher education has taken the back seat.

Decrease in state support makes students shoulder the burden. The increasing amounts of tuition money are being funneled into building repair projects, expanding the Carlson school and funding other special projects, such as the new stadium.

Theoretically, the more we invest the more return we gain on that investment. As far as education goes, are students seeing the returns in their investments in smaller classrooms, the better excellent faculty and better preparation for graduate programs or the job market?

The $58 million remodeling of the Carlson School of Management should help the business students, but what of the decrease in tenured positions for top scholars and professors in CLA and other colleges?

We wonder how the University plans to position itself as a national leader in research when exorbitant tuition rates will fail to attract talented students – in-state or out-of-state.

Although part of the problem of the rising tuition is the state’s lack of investment, the University is using the funds they receive in ways that are hard to see on the individual student level. Education shouldn’t be a Wall Street investment gamble. We should get back more than we put in.