More state funding than expected will help offset tuition.
Last year, when faced with unprecedented budget cuts, former President Bob Bruininks and the Board of Regents put forth a plan that prepared for the worst-case budget scenario. The previous administration warrants praise for thinking ahead and creating a working budget under such harsh circumstances. Fortunately for the University of Minnesota, the stateâÄôs allotment wasnâÄôt quite the worst possible case âÄî they granted $50 million more than the University expected. While that still resulted in another major budget slash, new President Eric KalerâÄôs decision on how to use the unexpected funds makes the situation a little less painful for students in particular.
KalerâÄôs plan, released last week and approved unanimously by regents last Friday, focuses heavily on decreasing the ever-growing tuition burden placed on students. Middle- and low-income students from Minnesota will receive a one-time scholarship this spring to help pay for classes, totaling $4.15 million across all University of Minnesota campuses. $8.3 million will reduce anticipated tuition increases over the next year and $6 million will be spent over three years on graduate and doctoral programs.
It is good to see the administration finally listening to students and putting them first. The University is the stateâÄôs flagship public university, and as such, it has a responsibility to make higher education as accessible as possible.
With tuition continuously increasing, as well as the cost of textbooks, living expenses and all other things University-related, helping students is exactly what the administration should be doing. Kaler has shown he recognizes the hardships students face and we hope he will continue to prioritize students in the future.