Minnesota West Community and Technical College is completing the third year of a three year pilot project to study the impact of charging instate tuition for non-resident students. The pilot project was approved by the MnSCU Board of Trustees during the July 1999 Board meeting. The date of approval limited the amount of student recruiting available for the first year of the pilot project (FY00). In both FY01 and FY02 Minnesota West Community and Technical College was successful in increasing the number of out-of-state students enrolled. Below is an insert of the original proposal submitted by the College:
Proposal: For a three year period MWCTC will be allowed to charge in-state tuition to all students up to 6,000 credits sold or 200 full-time equivalent students per year applying to the college for admission as either full-time students. A student granted the in-state tuition would enjoy this benefit as long as they are continuously enrolled at MWCTC for fall and spring semesters.
  1. Increase enrollment and efficiency of a rural set of campuses.

  2. Compete effectively with other colleges.

  3. Increase potential labor force for southwest Minnesota and Minnesota in general.

  4. Enhance economic development opportunities in southwest Minnesota.

  5. Increase the revenue in local economies of communities where MWCTC has a campus location.

History and Rational:

MWCTC is a border college. It does not have the same opportunities for geographical recruitment as colleges located in the interior of the state. In particular MWCTC and Riverland are located in positions in which tuition reciprocity agreements with all of Iowa are unattainable at this time unlike state agreements with the Dakotas and Wisconsin. The opportunity for brain drain to Iowa is greater along the Iowa border due to tuition differences between Iowa and Minnesota Colleges and the in-state tuition policies of some Iowa Colleges.

MWCTC has class averages at its five campuses between 14 and 17. We could operate with minimal average cost increases to an average class size of 16 to 19 with existing faculty.

Minnesota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The shortage of skilled employees in Minnesota is a structural issue rather than cyclical. Therefore even with a downturn in the economy we will face skilled labor shortages in the future. The structural employment problem is based upon several factors.

  1. Minnesota has one of the lowest birth rates in the United States.
  2. Women are already present in the labor force at a significantly higher percentage than found in other states.
  3. Current immigration patterns are from countries whose climate, geographical and ethnic characteristics leave Minnesota as a poor choice for location.

Minnesota currently has many more job openings than employees with the appropriate skills available. This skills gap will create a significant economic development issues for Minnesota and in the predominantly agrarian region of southwest Minnesota it is particularly difficult to recruit new business with out a maximum opportunity to recruit students and in-turn potential new employees into our region.

This pilot project would give MWCTC the opportunity to demonstrate to MnSCU that the return on charging in-state tuition is greater than the cost of subsidizing non-residents. The return would be measured by:

  1. The number of non-resident students who upon completion of their education join the Minnesota labor pool.
  2. The amount of revenue generated by out-of-state students in local communities.
  3. The additional revenue generated for the college through tuition of the additional students enabling a rural college to maintain an efficient operation.

1. Annual report on the number of non-reciprocity, non-resident students paying in-state tuition. 2. Student follow-up report: a. Graduate student follow-up with respect to post college residence and place of employment. b. Non-graduate student follow-up with respect to post college residence and place of employment. c. Continuing student's choice of educational institution other than MWCTC. 3. Estimated economic impact of non-resident students on rural communities. 4. MWCTC operating budget impact report of the non-resident student.

Summary: Minnesota West Community and Technical College would like to be granted the authority to charge in-state tuition to non-reciprocity, non-resident, new students beginning with the fall semester 1999 for a pilot period of three years. The college will provide an annual report of the outcomes including the evaluation items identified above. The report will be presented to the system office by February 1 after the close of an academic year (this time frame allows for ample time to mail and receive follow-up surveys). The first year of the pilot project will not have significant numbers due to the lateness of implementation. The maximum number of new students each year entering the pilot project will be 6,000 credits sold or 200 full-time equivalent students.

Minnesota West believes that this program has been and will continue to meet the goals established. Therefore, we request that the Board of Trustees renew the project for 2002-2003 academic year.