Highlights of the higher-education bill

A quick look

I’m having to go through all the bills coming out of the shutdown talks, so I can’t get too deep into the higher-ed bill at the moment.

MPR colleague Tim Post should be doing more reporting on this later on, but here’s a quick initial look at the highlights:

  • Total funding: $2.6 billion
  • How it compares to current spending: 8.8 percent cut
  • How it compares to conference committee bill: More generous then the 10.9 percent cut in the conference committee bill.
  • How it compares to governor’s proposal: Much deeper cuts than Dayton’s proposal, which had reductions of 2.3 percent
  • University of Minnesota: 10.4 percent cut, but proposed tuition caps were stricken.
  • MnSCU: 10.6 percent cut.
  • State Grant Funding/Financial Aid:  7.3 percent increase – unchanged from the conference committee report. No changes to the funding for any other financial aid programs, such as work study, Indian scholarships and child care assistance.
  • Office of Higher Education:  5.4 percent cut to administration – just under half of the cut in conference committee bill. Various student support programs were cut about 12.5 percent.
  • Tuition caps: Proposed maximum tuition increases were stricken for both the U of M and all state-run universities. MnSCU’s two-year colleges (community and technical) can increase their tuition by no more than 4 percent for FY 2013.
  • Performance benchmarks: Both MnSCU and the U of M must hit certain benchmarks – in areas such as diversity, graduation rates and financial aid – to receive one percent of their funding.
  • Anti-cloning bill: Removed.
  • Senior citizens: Eligibility age for discounted college classes lowered from 66 to 62.
  • Tuition Guarantee Plan: Colleges and universities are encouraged to set up programs that offer stable tuition over four years to undergrads.
  • Credit transfers: MnsCU would have to provide progress reports and numbers of transfers, as well study successful transfer systems in other states.