Tuition freeze helps cash-strapped students

Hey College Students!

College costs are leaving way too many of us with soul-crushing debt.

Fortunately, Minnesota State Colleges instituted a tuition freeze this year.

Tuition freeze helps cash-strapped students

The rising cost of higher education makes it challenging for college students to keep up financially. Minnesota State Colleges and the Minnesota Legislature are taking steps to help to ease the financial burden.

Minnesota State’s Board of Trustees will meet later this month to discuss a budget proposal requesting $178 million in new funding over the next two years in exchange for a tuition freeze through 2019.

During the 2015 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Higher Education Omnibus bill to provide tuition relief and increased financial aid during the 2016-17 academic year.

Tuition and fees decreased this academic year for students at Minnesota State’s 30 technical and community colleges, equaling that of 2012-13 rates. Tuition at Minnesota State’s seven four-year universities, including SMSU, are frozen at last year’s levels.

“Affordability and accessibility ensure that our colleges and universities can be places of hope and opportunity for all Minnesotans,” Minnesota State Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said.

The current annual cost for tuition and fees at SMSU is $8,336. SMSU does not charge out-of-state tuition.

Nationally, in-state tuition and fees at four-year public universities average $9,650, according to the College Board. At many state universities, out-of-state tuition can cost up to three times more than in-state tuition. Four-year private universities charge an average of $33,480 per year.

Increased funding also expands financial aid to Minnesota students from low and middle-income families. For undergraduate students receiving state and Pell grants, the estimated average annual tuition cost for attending a technical or community college full-time is $894, and $2088 for attending a four-year Minnesota State university full-time.

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