Admins should reject tuition hike

Daily Editorial Board

A t their February meeting, members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents voiced concern about President Eric Kaler’s plan to hike up tuition for out-of-state students by $3,200 per year for four years.
 
 
“Historically, the perspective of the University was low tuition for all,” said Regent Darrin Rosha at the meeting.
 
 
Rosha and other regents are right to be worried about the proposal, under which tuition for non-residents could reach about $35,000 by 2020.
 
 
As a public institution, the University exists as an alternative to pricey private schools. It is supposed to be an accessible combination of world-class education and affordability.
 
 
Being a land-grant university should not exclude non-Minnesotans from that option. In fact, in 2008, the school lowered tuition in order to attract more out-of-staters.
 
 
Kaler has said the proposal will raise non-resident tuition to the Big Ten conference’s midpoint.
 
 
Well-funded research and academic support make us competitive. Responsive governance and well-behaved administrators make us competitive. Diverse faculty make us competitive. High price stickers do not.
 
 
A tuition hike makes the University less attractive to potential students and unsympathetic to current enrolees. Our graduates already graduate, on average, with about $28,000 in debt.
 
 
Most regents expressed that the proposed hike was either too extreme or would progress too quickly. We urge the board to continue pursuing solutions for their concerns and to reject Kaler’s misguided plan at its March meeting.