A border toll for higher education

North Dakota State Roundup

Published September 1, 2005  | September 2005 issue

Bucking tradition, the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents decided during the summer to rescind its decades-long policy of offering tuition reciprocity to students coming from North Dakota.

The new policy isn't being applied to all programs, nor will it charge the full out-of-state tuition price. Starting with the 2006-07 school year, North Dakotans seeking professional degrees in law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine will be required to pay 75 percent of out-of-state tuition rates, rather than the in-state rate.

The agreement is not likely to have a huge impact on border crossings. The targeted programs enroll an estimated 100 students from North Dakota. The state has no dentistry or veterinary programs. Still, for some students it will mean a tuition hike of more than $10,000 per year. Overall, the changes are expected to cost migrating North Dakota students an extra $350,000 to $400,000. Similar changes are being sought for students coming from South Dakota, as well as changes to the reciprocity agreement for pharmacy students from Wisconsin.

Ronald A. Wirtz