Keep tuition rates flat for everyone

Daily Editorial Board

University President Eric Kaler presented a proposal to raise tuition for out-of-state students by 60 percent in the next four years at a Board of Regents meeting last Thursday night. 
According to Kaler, a tuition increase would allow the University’s out-of-state tuition rates to match those of other Big 10 schools. This would also alleviate concerns that the administration favors non-resident students at the expense of Minnesota students because it could reduce the tuition increases in-state students will experience. 
Regent Michael Hsu insisted higher expenses for out-of-state students are the best way to maintain the University’s “brand.” 
We agree the University of Minnesota should maintain a quality reputation in order to attract the best students, faculty and researchers. However, this means developing an athletics program that isn’t riddled with scandals, repairing buildings that are falling apart and uncomfortable to learn in, hiring more faculty of color and maintaining a healthy-sized Chicano Studies department. 
Students want to attend universities that prioritize students’ needs. Any of these options would create a “brand” for the University far better than burdening out-of-state students with exorbitant tuition rates.
The attempt to improve the University’s reputation by raising tuition demonstrates a lack of understanding of what constitutes a quality university. Raising tuition at such steep rates in order to maintain the University’s “brand” is misguided and harmful, regardless of whatever benefits it may confer to in-state students. A quality school puts the needs of its students first.