Posted: May 20, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees today approved a system-wide tuition increase of 2.9 percent for 1998-99. This is slightly below the University of Minnesota's proposed 3 percent increase. "Thanks to the generosity of Gov. Arne Carlson and the 1998 Minnesota Legislature, we are able to once again hold our tuition increase to about the level of inflation," said Chancellor Morris J. Anderson. Tuition forms about one-third of the revenue for the 36 state colleges and universities that make up the system. State appropriation and other sources of revenue make up the balance.

With the increase, the average annual full-time tuition at a state college will be $1,992 for the 1998-99 academic year. Tuition at a state university will be $2,523. This is the second year in a row the MnSCU board has held tuition increases to under 3 percent. The board has received letters from student senate representatives at nearly all of the 36 colleges in the system indicating broad-based student support for the tuition changes.

The MnSCU board also approved a proposal to allow three state universities to charge a flat tuition rate for students who take between 12 and 18 credits. This practice, called "banding," is intended to provide an incentive for students to take a full load of classes so they can graduate in four years. Bemidji, Mankato and Winona state universities have asked the MnSCU board to approve banding at their schools for a two-year test. Past practice has been to charge a flat rate per credit.

The banding is expected to result in savings for many students. Fifty-three percent of Winona State students, 46 percent of Bemidji State students and 43 percent of Mankato State students would pay less under the banding proposal.

Bemidji State $83.50 per credit per semester $1,250 per semester

All 36 MnSCU schools are changing to the semester system this fall, as required by law. The University of Minnesota changes to semesters in the fall of 1999. Under semesters, it is important that students take a full load of classes each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Students must take at least 15 credits per semester to graduate in four years. Banding tuition will give students a financial incentive to take additional classes.

Research by Mankato State University shows that similar schools that switched to banding have a higher four-year graduation rate.
The three schools participating in banding will analyze the average credit load per student for the next two years to compare to past practice. They also will examine credit-load averages at schools in the system that are not banding. The schools plan to see whether student bill modifications increase or decrease as a result of banding. Also, they will survey students to see if banding affected their credit-taking behavior.