Cap student tuition

Gov. Tim Pawlenty might be on to something. Although our executive is seldom a recipient of compliment from this page, his recent proposal to impose a tuition cap on MinnesotaâÄôs colleges and universities is praiseworthy. According to the Project on Student Debt , upon receiving a diploma, Minnesota students are saddled with the nationâÄôs fifth-highest average debt loads. ItâÄôs a bad situation. But to hear University administrators talk about the issue, one would be led to believe that the only thing worse than churning out debt-ridden students is a tuition cap that would attempt to fight the financial burden. University President Bob Bruininks argued that the tuition cap would âÄúseverely compromiseâÄù the University âÄî despite the fact that tuition and fees only comprise 23.1 percent of the UniversityâÄôs budget . Ultimately, this idea is Titanic in proportion: conceptually grand, but ultimately doomed. When the governor pushed for a tuition cap in 2003, he submitted a proposal to âÄúcap yearly tuition increases at 15 percent per year .âÄù In response, the University contended that it was not legally bound to the proposal on the basis that the University was founded prior to MinnesotaâÄôs official statehood, and that the state therefore had no governing power over the school . We humbly mention that in-state undergraduate tuition has increased nearly 40 percent since then. The governorâÄôs plan will be laid out next Tuesday with the rest of the state budget. We expect institutional resistance to caps, and students who want to see smaller tuition increases should get ready to fight for them. Until then, some food for thought: if the University is unwilling to accept tuition caps again, how much will they hike it this time?