Tuition for U could rise by 7.5 percent

A single-digit tuition increase would be the first since the 2000-01 school year.

Than Tibbetts

Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the state’s higher-education omnibus bill Thursday in Rochester, Minn.

The two-year, $2.8 billion budget package gives the University $1.2 billion for the 2006-07 budget cycle.

University officials estimate tuition increases will be approximately 7.5 percent. The potential increase is more than the officials’ original estimate of 5.5 percent, but the increase is not expected to be more than 10 percent.

University President Bob Bruininks will present his budget – along with the proposed tuition increases – at the Board of Regents meeting this month.

A single-digit tuition increase would be the first since the 2000-01 school year.

University officials said they were pleased to receive most of the money they requested at the beginning of this year’s legislative session.

The University requested $126 million more than the last two-year budget. The higher-education bill gives the University $105.6 million of that request.

Richard Pfutzenreuter, the University’s chief financial officer, said the final bill was a good outcome.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, called the bill shortsighted.

“We still haven’t made up the $185 million of real money that was cut in the last budget,” she said. “I still predict that we end up with double-digit tuition increases.”