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U of M considers 60 percent tuition hike for out-of-state students

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The University of Minnesota is considering hiking tuition for students from outside the state by up to 60 percent over the next four years.

The proposal was put before the U's Board of Regents Thursday by President Eric Kaler, MPR reports, which would see non-resident tuition costs rise by $3,200 in each year until 2019/2020, when they would be paying tuition of $35,000, compared to $22,660 currently.

The U of M has the lowest non-resident tuition fees in the Big Ten, and State Rep. Bob Barret (GOP-Lindstrom) told the news organization the hike would enable it to reduce tuition for Minnesota students.

The hike would only affect new students, the Star Tribune reports. Existing students enrolled from outside the state would see their tuition fees rise by a capped 5.5 percent a year.

The newspaper notes that in-state students currently pay tuition of $13,380 a year, the 4th highest in the Big Ten, and says Kaler has been "under increasing pressure" from those who say the rates are favoring nonresidents at the expense of Minnesotans.

No action has been taken yet on the proposal by the Board.

Cheap it might be, but the Minnesota Daily reports Regent Michael Hsu said the low cost for non-resident students could be counter-productive, saying some incoming students may not think the quality of education is as good as Big Ten rivals if the tuition is low.

But at the same meeting, Regent Laura Brod said a big hike of tuition could scare away potential out-of-state students.

Northwestern currently has the highest non-resident tuition, the Star Tribune notes, charging just over $49,000 a year.

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