Off to the Capitol — A stable-tuition bill

Pay the same tuition this fall as in four years?

Checking out discussion of three House bills, one of them being this:

Rep. Bruce Vogel (R-Willmar) wants both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system to charge students the same tuition throughout their college careers.

In essence, university seniors should pay no more than they did as freshman, provided they’re completing the traditional four-year route. And community college sophomores should pay no more than they did the year before, as long as they’re completing the traditional two-year route.

The stable-tuition plan would kick in for freshman this fall.

You can read the text of the bill here.

  • RLS

    Doesn’t seem too well thought out. I would imagine that this bill would lead colleges to set first year tuition higher than they otherwise would, factoring in expected cost increases so that they’d collect the same total tuition over 4 years as they would have otherwise. Also, I don’t see anything about limiting fee increases. These are a large and growing share of the total cost of college attendance.

    • Alex Friedrich

      You’re right on. In today’s hearing, they said the tuition would indeed be higher in the first years, so the ability to plan — not lower tuition overall — would be the benefit. That said, a U of M official testified that the U had this type of program for about 10 years but ended it last year due to lack of interest. And that was a program that allowed students to get a refund of the tuition difference if they ended up paying more under the program than they would have normally. Students, the official said, were afraid they’d end up paying more per credit if they ended up dropping out mid-way — which indeed they would have. I’ll do a quick post on this, as I just got back.