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Students at Minnesota State colleges and universities will see an average tuition increase of 3.5% this fall.

The Minnesota State Board of Trustees approved a proposal to increase tuition across the system’s 54 campuses at a Wednesday meeting. The charges will affect students in the upcoming academic year this fall.

Students at Minnesota State community and technical colleges will see their tuition go up by an average of 3.4%, or $181 per year. And students at Minnesota State universities will face an average increase of 3.5%, or $294 per year.

The increases bring the total average cost for students attending Minnesota State schools to $5,458 for colleges and $8,685 for universities, according to meeting documents.

Meeting documents cite a rise in inflation and a decline in student enrollment as strains on the system’s budget.

According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota State colleges and universities saw enrollment fall by around 26% from fall 2010 to fall 2021.

Students from across the Minnesota State system wrote in to the board to oppose the tuition hike.

“It is apparent that the Board of Trustees seeks to provide opportunities for all Minnesotans to create a better future for themselves. Over the past years, tuition hikes have caused these opportunities to become increasingly unobtainable for those who need them the most,” Aidan Emery Scott, a member of the student senate at Minneapolis College, wrote.

“The students of Minneapolis College ask you once again to understand and act upon the importance of affordable education, by providing two-year colleges with the necessary resources to combat increasing operating costs.”

University of Minnesota students will also see an increase in tuition this fall. The university’s Board of Regents approved a 3.5% increase for undergraduate resident students on the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses and a 1.75% increase for undergraduate resident students on the Crookston, Duluth and Morris campuses earlier this month. 

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