Scholarships balance tuition rise

As rumors of tuition and fees crossing the $10,000 mark next year spread, students may wonder how they’re going to cope with the rising costs of higher education.

In addition to rising tuition costs, the University is part of a national trend to raise financial aid and scholarship levels for students, University president Bob Bruininks said. “We have never been as successful as we are today at raising money for scholarships and fellowships,” he said.

The University was one of more than a hundred schools that recently received a letter from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, raising questions about the size of the schools’ endowments and the amount spent on students each year.

University Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter said the

University is working on its response to the letter. “This is an opportunity to explain what the University does with its endowment,” he said. The University may have nearly $3 billion in its endowment fund, Pfutzenreuter said, but not all of it can be used for student aid and lowering tuition.

Tuition increases are based on family income, residency and budgeting from the state. Multiple factors affect the rising costs of higher education.


-New students entering the University under the reciprocity agreement will pay the equivalent of Minnesota in-state tuition.

-New students entering the University from outside of reciprocity states will be charged the Minnesota in-state tuition rate plus $4,000 (out-of-state tuition was $21,515 in 2007-2008.)

-Overall, tuition is expected to rise 7.5 percent for students with a family income of $150,000 or more (those below the $150,000 mark will receive a 2 percent buy down from the state legislature.)

-Tuition rates will not be finalized until they have been approved by the Board of Regents in May.


2000-2001 ñ $21.8 million (6,109 total scholarship)
2006-2007 ñ $42.9 million (10,308 total scholarship)

The Promise of Tomorrow Scholarship Drive was started by President Bob Bruininks and has raised annual giving by 700 to 1,000 percent since its inception.

The Founder’s Free Tuition Scholarship serves students in Minnesota who are Pell-eligible and covers all tuition and fees with grants and scholarships. This program began in the fall of 2005 and admits about 1,000 students each year. President Bruininks estimates that more than one-third of these students are students of color and the average adjusted family incomes of these students is $25,000 per year.


-University of Iowa: $6,544
-University of North Dakota: $6,130
-University of Wisconsin: $7,010
-The Ohio State University: $8,676

*dollar amounts are based on in-state, full-time, undergraduate tuition and fees for two semesters Dennis Jones, a national expert on tuition, said “Tuitions are going to go up every year, because they can.” Jones said when state money gets tight, funding for higher education often falters and the responsibility is shifted to the colleges and universities, who in turn raise tuition. Rising tuition costs are a trend across the nation, he said, and the increases range from four percent to double digits for next year.


Across the nation, universities have recently been increasing the amount of aid to students and families in the middle class.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Students from family incomes of less than $100,000 will not pay tuition and those from family incomes of less than $60,000 will not pay for tuition or room and board. Stanford tuition and room and board are $36,030 and $11,182 respectively.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Led the way by limiting tuition costs to 10 percent of a family’s yearly income if that number is between $120,000 and $180,000. Students from an annual family income of less than $60,000 currently receive full aid for the $45,600 yearly tuition and fees.

YALE UNIVERSITY: Has extended aid to families with two children in college, $180,000 of income and $200,000 in assets will pay about $11,650 of the $45,000 in tuition, room/board and fees.


A look back at tuition increases through the years at the University:

-In 1969-70, tuition jumped from $294 to $399, a 35.7 percent increase.

-In 1981-82, tuition crossed the $1,000 mark from $927 to $1053, a 13.6 percent increase, followed by another 23.6 percent the following year.

-From 2001-02 through 2004-05, tuition went up 13 or 14 percent each year, starting at $4,401 and ended at $7,477 just four years later.

AND: At the national level, as a provision in the Higher Education Act that recently passed in the House and the Senate, the “College Affordability and Transparency List” was created. 129 schools are listed as having the highest percent change in tuition from 2004-05 to 2006-07. West Coast University in California made a 179 percent jump from $9,000

(yearly in-state tuition and fees) to $25,132.

Three Minnesota schools made the list: National American University-Roseville, National American University-Bloomington and White Earth Tribal and Community College. NAU campuses saw a 44 percent increase in that period (from $10,265 to $14,762) and White Earth increased 49 percent (from $2,040 to $3,049).