How much more WI students will pay at Minnesota colleges

Wisconsin Capitol

Tuition will increase for new Wisconsin students at Minnesota colleges next year under a renewed tuition reciprocity agreement announced yesterday.

Those Wisconsinites who enroll as new undergraduates at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2012-13 can expect to pay about $1,000 more per year than current Wisconsin students, said Ginny Dodds, manager of state financial aid programs at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Many of those attending schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system will pay up to several hundred dollars more a year.


The two states have allowed each other’s students to study at their schools without paying out-of-state tuition for years.

But tuition is increasing for Wisconsin students because their state government is phasing out a subsidy that covered the cost between Wisconsin in-state tuition and the higher Minnesota in-state tuition.

Wisconsin students already studying in Minnesota shouldn’t be affected, because their subsidy will remain through the 2014-15 academic year.

Minnesota students won’t see a change in tuition under the agreement, because the agreement requires them to pay Minnesota in-state tuition when they study in Wisconsin. Minnesota

Increases for two-year colleges and state universities will be much less than for the one at the U of M – Twin Cities campus, though they fall under a wide range. For example, based on this year’s tuition charges, Wisconsin students attending Winona State would pay an extra $236 a year, while those at MSU-Mankato would pay an extra $60, and those at Bemidji State an extra $613, Dodds said.

The range of increases at two-year colleges appears similar. Wisconsin students attending Minnesota West Community and Technical College would pay an additional $446 per year, and those at Minneapolis Community and Technical College would pay another $20.

More than 10,000 Wisconsinites attend Minnesota colleges and universities each year, Dodds said, the largest chunks at the U’s Twin Cities campus or Winona State. More than 14,000 Minnesota residents attend schools in Wisconsin.

Higher education officials in both states said they don’t expect the increase to deter Wisconsinites from studying here.

Dodds told me:

“You know, they never really made their decision based on the supplement being in place. They just wanted to come to the Minnesota school and would have been happy with just paying the Minnesota resident rate instead of the nonresident rate.”

Sherrie Nelson, interim administrator of the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board, said Minnesota in-state tuition “is still a really good deal.”

(To clarify: The tuition gap between the U of M and Madison used to be about $1,000, but the state of Wisconsin covered the difference. It has since risen to $2,300, and Wisconsin is still covering $1,000, leaving this year’s students to pay the additional $1,300. Next year, new students will have to bear the full brunt of the increase without a subsidy — about $2,300 not counting any other increases.)