The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities approved the annual operating budget for FY2024 that includes a freeze in undergraduate tuition at FY2023 levels, which averaged $8,685 at the system’s universities and $5,471 at its colleges. The move was made possible by funding approved by the legislature and Governor Walz in their higher education funding bill for the 2024 – 2025 biennium.
“We have deep appreciation for the leadership that Chair Gene Pelowski, Chair Omar Fateh, committee members, and Governor Walz showed in making this tuition freeze possible with their historic investment in higher education,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “The funding positions the colleges and universities of Minnesota State to respond to the critical needs of students, promotes equitable student success, and will help provide Minnesota the talent and workforce it needs.”
The funding that made the tuition freeze possible was one outcome of the 2023 legislative session that featured a $292.9 million investment in the colleges and universities of Minnesota State. The legislation provides funding to freeze tuition rates for undergraduate degree-granting programs for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years at 2022-2023 academic year rates.
In addition to the tuition freeze, other key provisions of the final bill that enhances higher education affordability and accessibility included funding for:
- The “North Star Promise” – a scholarship program that provides access to public higher education without tuition cost for students from families with annual incomes of less than $80,000. The program will become available FY2025.
- Student support initiatives that will help campuses address basic needs insecurity, mental health, and other high-need student support services.
- Developing and expanding industry sector programming to build capacity and support new and redesigned curricular options with an emphasis on offering students work-based learning experiences. State funds will be matched with cash or in-kind contributions from non-state sources.
- Improving college and university equipment and learning environments – state funds will be matched with cash or in-kind contributions from non-state sources.
- Expanding offerings in free course materials and resources, including through open educational resources, open textbooks, and implementation of “Z-Degrees” (complete associate or bachelor’s degree programs that exclusively use course resources that are available at no cost to students).
- Continuing the highly successful Workforce Development Scholarship program that encourages students to enter programs in high demand by employers.
The colleges and universities of Minnesota State have long offered students the lowest tuition and fees in the state, providing students an outstanding education value and the ability to limit or avoid debt.