Some MnSCU students face 'modest' tuition increase, others a decrease

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Some MnSCU students will pay slightly more tuition for the upcoming school year.

Under a budget plan approved by the school system's board of trustees Wednesday, undergraduates at MnSCU's seven state universities will pay an average of $233 more on their tuition bill for the 2015-16 school year, according to a MnSCU news release.

It's the first such increase in three years, the release notes,

Tuition will freeze after that though, remaining at the same level for the 2016-17 school year.

At MnSCU's 24 two-year colleges, students will actually see a slight decrease, not this year but next. Tuition for those students will remain at their current levels for 2015-16, then decrease by 1 percent for 2016-17.

Both the rise and freeze are partially caused by the funding lawmakers voted to provide MnSCU.

Legislators approved nearly $100 million to help cover tuition costs and prevent dramatic price hikes – but that was also well short of the $148 million MnSCU officials had asked for.

The board of trustees also approved an overall budget increase of 1 percent for the 2016 fiscal year, bringing the total operating budget to $1.9 billion.

But there's still a gap to be cleared.

MPR News reports MnSCU is facing a $21 million deficit which – without a significant tuition hike – they'll have to solve by making budget cuts and upping enrollment.

The system right now is experiencing a decline in student enrollment however, one "consistent with statewide and nationwide trends" according to the MnSCU news release. The main reasons for that, the system says: the recovery from the economic recession, and fewer high school seniors graduating.

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