Some tuition and fee highlights of the University of Minnesota’s upcoming budget

A little relief. (MPR Photo / Alex Friedrich)

Tomorrow University of Minnesota officials will take public comment on the U’s operating budget for the coming year.

I’ll have more details soon, but U officials are clearly proud of their two-year tuition freeze, funding for which President Eric Kaler had made a main part of his plea to the legislature.

CFO Richard Pfutzenreuter (FITZ-en-rider) called the freeze the “jewel” of the proposal, saying it’s the first in a generation:

“I’ve been at the university of Minnesota for 21 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen — and I believe it goes back to perhaps as early as 1970, the last time that tuition was frozen.”

Resident graduate and professional students aren’t so lucky. They’d see see a tuition increase of 3 percent.

Fees are a mixed bag, depending on the campus. But the U froze the collegiate fee — apparently a first for that one. The largest percentage increase in fees was the student-services fee on the Twin Cities campus, which would rise 12.6 percent. Spokesman Chuck Tombarge said students approved it to pay for rec center improvements and expanded mental-health serves.

Update: In percentage terms, overall tuition and fee increases per campus look like this: Crookston (-0.1 percent); Duluth (0.2 percent); Morris (0.3 percent); Twin Cities (0.7 percent).

Overall: Increases in the total price tag for tuition, fees, room and board would rise from 0.8 percent in Crookston to 1.9 percent at the Twin Cities campus.

Some lawmakers and the public have complained in the past that nonresident tuition at the U is too low, and the U has responded with what appears to be the first of several increases over the coming years.

Nonresident undergrads would pay $1,000 more on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. (I believe most or all of the others will continue to charge the same rate for all undergrads.) Foreign students will also pay an extra $250 a year for improved academic services.

The Board of Regents is expected to vote on the budget June 14.

I’ll be posting more on this, so stay tuned.