University tuition higher than average at public institutions

Melinda Rogers

University tuition is higher than the average cost at other public institutions in the nation, according to College Board statistics released Monday.
The University charges undergraduate state residents $4,879, compared to $3,510 — the national average cited by the College Board.
Administrators raised tuition at all four campuses last year by 5.5 percent, while the national average is 4.4 percent.
The College Board, a nonprofit organization, administers entrance exams including the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Advanced Placement exams.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which includes St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University-Mankato, charge students fees below the national average. For example, St. Cloud charges $3,240 and Mankato $3,208.
School officials said comparing the University’s tuition level with others in the state is like comparing apples and oranges.
“It is not a fair comparison when you consider the wide range of schools,” said Thomas Gilson, a senior analyst in the Office of Budget and Finance.
“It’s a matter of the type of institution, and the University of Minnesota is the only major research institution in the state. (Other institutions) cannot provide that environment,” he said.
Some University students might get a break in their tuition costs this year. State grants worth more than $121 million dollars are expected to help 64,000 students pay for tuition.
“More financial aid is always made available (for students) when the Legislature and other resources the University relies on for endowments contribute,” Gilson said.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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