Yudof e-mail announces tuition hike to students, defends regent decision

Anne Preller

University students from all four campuses will receive an e-mail from President Mark Yudof today stating that the Board of Regents approved a 13.3 percent tuition increase due to a lack of funding from the Legislature.

The University received less than half of the funding it requested from the Legislature. The University’s original budget request would have increased tuition 3 percent – roughly the rate of inflation.

According to the e-mail, “The budget approved by the Board of Regents fairly balances the burden between the state, the University and students and will keep the University moving forward on many of our goals.”

Rep. Lyndon Carlson, DFL-Crystal, a member of the House Higher Education Finance Committee, expressed his disappointment in the lack of state-appropriated funding.

“Today students are paying 45 percent of the cost of instruction, according to President Yudof,” Carlson said. “Now, with this tuition increase, I would guess students are going to be paying 50 percent of the cost of instruction.”

The big sources of revenue for education are state appropriations and tuition. When the state appropriation is inadequate, the University turns to the other main source of revenue, Carlson said.

“One of my concerns is when tuition increases, students will have to respond by working more or perhaps by taking out more loans and going into debt even more than students are already,” Carlson said.

This is the first time in his tenure Yudof has officially notified University students of a tuition increase.

University administrators were unable to be reached for comment due to an Executive Committee retreat.

– Anne Preller