The state Board of Higher Education has approved tuition increases averaging 9 percent for next year at the state's colleges and universities.
The increase adds a little more than $400 to the year-long tuition rate of about $4,800 for regular full-time students. The hit is worse for medical and law students, who face 8 percent and 12 percent increases, respectively, which add $900 and $1,600 to the costs of those programs. School officials have pointed to higher energy costs as the main source of the increase, noting that no individual programs asked for increased fees.
Though facing a pretty stiff increase, higher education in the state is still comparatively cheap, even compared with low-cost neighbors. For example, South Dakota recently announced smaller tuition increases of 5 percent, but has average tuition rates that are slightly higher than its northern neighbor. The Minnesota System of Colleges and Universities announced a tuition hike this year of 7.7 percent for four-year schools, with full-time tuition hitting $5,600.
—Ronald A. Wirtz