A new program is giving some Iowa high school students the opportunity to attend a couple Minnesota colleges for the same price as an in-state student.
The Future Maverick program allows a student to earn an associate's degree from Riverland Community College then transition to Minnesota State University, Mankato for a bachelor's degree – at the same cost Minnesotans pay, the schools announced.
MSU President Richard Davenport and Riverland President Adenuga Atewologun signed an official memorandum detailing the agreement at Riverland's Albert Lea campus Friday.
“This partnership is part of our contribution to meeting the projected shortage of skilled workforce in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa," Atewologun said in a statement. "Well-prepared, qualified high school graduates in the region can stay close to home and benefit from Riverland’s culture of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service."
Said Davenport: “This partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for students from Iowa," Davenpor said in a statement. "In addition, it will also help showcase the wonderful communities of Austin, Albert Lea, Owatonna and Mankato to many prospective students and families from Iowa.”
The program, the schools said, includes guaranteed admission to MSU-Mankato, as long as certain criteria are met. Students will consult with academic advisers at both schools to make sure their courses and schedules have them on track for their specific degree.
Despite their neighborly proximity, Minnesota and Iowa do not have a statewide tuition reciprocity agreement, the Minnesota Department of Higher Education (OHE) says. There is a limited agreement between Minnesota West Community & Technical College and Iowa Lakes Community College, however.
The state does have an agreement with Wisconsin and both North and South Dakota, as well as the Canadian province of Manitoba, the OHE says.
In its 2014 reciprocity report, the OHE says 220 Minnesota resident reciprocity students were enrolled at Iowa Lakes Community College in 2012. Overall, 29,250 Minnesota students went to another state's college under the reciprocity program.
Conversely, 73 Iowa resident reciprocity students were enrolled at Minnesota West – that's out of about 15,800 out-state students who attended college in Minnesota.
The OHE says it has asked the Iowa Board of Regents to consider expanding the tuition reciprocity to all public institutions in both states. But the board of regents "has not been interested" in doing so, the OHE says.