Hundreds of MnSCU students protest the cost of tuition

About 400 students rallied at the state capitol today to protest the high cost of tuition.  They want Minnesota lawmakers to put a cap on tuition, while keeping funding for Minnesota’s higher education system strong.

Geoff Dittberner with the Minnesota State College Student Association said students want to work with lawmakers and the state’s colleges to slow tuition increases and protect the quality of higher education.

” We’re coming to the table and we’re willing to work together,” Dittberner said. “Students are definitely willing to be a part of the solution, but students aren’t willing to be the budget solution.”

State Sen. John Carlson told the crowd about his effort to freeze tuition at MnSCU and the University of Minnesota.  Carlson has introduced a measure that would hold tuition at current levels in the state’s public colleges for two years.  After that tuition increases would be tied to the level of inflation.

Carlson’s bill gets its first hearing in a senate committee this afternoon at the capitol

By the way, the students at today’s rally were wearing red caps with the word “tuition” printed on them.  Get it?  A tuition cap.

  • Anonymous

    What did King Banaian – State Rep and SCSU econ prof – say at the rally? I understand he spoke.

  • I hope that all of these students realize that forcing a tuition freeze at the same time as State funding levels are being reduced means only one thing, cuts to programs and services. A tuition freeze combined with a budget allocation cut is a losing situation for the students. Sure they get to keep their tuition bill the same, but will that matter if their academic program (or even their entire school) gets cut in the process?

    • Neal

      Students are not asking for a freeze on tuition, it will go up. The question is by how much. Last year it was 5%, within the last 10 years tuition has more then doubled far out pacing inflation. My campus we have been working hard to find cost savings and I am confident that if we can keep funding at the same level as in 06, the college will be able to maintain programing with a 3-5% tuition increase. With out any cap schools will simply raise tuition and pass the burden on to students rather then looking at ways to streamline and save. If we continue to raise tuition and decrease funding Higher Education in MN will be inaccessible to students. This will result in a less educated work force and drive companies else where, this will continue to lower tax revenue.

      • Administration is where cuts need to be made, not academic programs, not student services. Why does the new president get a huge raise in the middle of a crisis? Why are mid level administrators taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars for chairing a variety of “administration” positions?

  • I was literally 3 feet off camera in this picture. It was incredible. There were hundreds of students and a handful of key legislators there with us. I talked with Paul Thissen and Ken Kelash on behalf of Normandale Community College, but we’ve been having scheduling conflicts with Geoff Michel (whose district encompasses NCC).