House grants tuition relief in University funding proposal

The University was recommended funding to offset tuition increases.

by Cali Owings

For in-state students at the University of Minnesota, tuition relief may be coming.

The House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee recommended $42.6 million for the University to freeze undergraduate resident tuition for the next two years.

The committee’s recommendation for tuition relief mirrors those from Gov. Mark Dayton and the Senate higher education committee, but the House committee allocated about $19 million less to the University overall.

The University had requested that amount for MnDRIVE, which would focus on research critical to Minnesota industry and business.

The governor and Senate allocated $36 million to the University for the initiative.

The House also recommended only about $11 million more to the state grant program. Dayton and the Senate recommended an $80 million increase.

Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, who chairs the House committee, said the tuition relief component will help students pay for school.

“This will be the first time where students can honestly say ‘I won’t have to pay more for tuition, and I won’t have to borrow,’” he said.

The Senate will officially appropriate funds to the University on Tuesday.

Dayton released a bonding proposal Monday that allocated roughly $70 million to the University.

While his proposal would fund the University’s request for nearly $57 million to renovate the Tate Laboratory of Physics, it provides only about $15 million for upkeep of campus buildings and facilities — $110 million less than the school’s request.

The House Capital Investment Committee will release a bonding proposal Tuesday. The Senate has not yet set a date