Kaler’s budget raises tuition for non-residents, freezes for residents


President Eric Kaler presented his recommended 2013 – 2014 operating budget to the Board of Regents Wednesday, which proposes freezing in-state tuition for undergraduates but raising the cost of school for out-of-state students.

Kaler heard mostly praise from Regents for the budget, though many had specific concerns, including questions about long-term funding for the University.

“For the first time in decades,” Kaler said, the collegiate fee would not be raised in the coming school year. The president’s budget proposal would freeze tution for resident undergradate students for the next two years, leaving tuition on the Twin Cities campus at $12,060 next year.

But some fees will climb. In addition to a $1,000 increase in tuition for non-resident students — who accounted for about 18 percent of students at the University last year — students will see an increase in room and board costs, some class fees and the student services fee.

Most of the student services fee increase is driven by the new recreational center building and funding for more mental health resources on campus, said Richard Pfutzenreuter, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the University.

Graduate student tuition will rise by an average of 3 percent in the coming year, according to the proposed budget. Among the graduate program increases, law students will see the largest tuition jump of about 9 percent.

The increase in law school tuition will bring the cost to the median range for law programs in the country, Kaler said during the Regents meeting Wednesday.

The Legislature granted most of the University’s funding requests in the Higher Education Omnibus bill, which passed last month, allowing for the two-year resident student tuition freeze. Kaler said the high appropriations by the state this year follows a six-year lull in funding for the University.

Some of those appropriations will go toward grants for Minnesota students. As a result, many may see an increase in both state and federal aid next year, Pfutzenreuter said in a media briefing Tuesday.

The Board will consider his proposal and make a final decision next week at their full Regents meeting.

For more details about President Kaler’s budget and student reactions, look for the Minnesota Daily in print and online Wednesday, June 12.