Driving Change in Higher Education.

College Affordability

Increasing the access and affordability of college is an ongoing priority of the advocacy work of the Minnesota State College Student Association at the state and federal level. Minnesota public two-year students pay the third highest tuition and fees in the country (Tuition and Fees, 2013-14. Almanac Edition, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2013). Half of Minnesota State colleges have the highest net costs for public two-year institutions nationwide (Public, 2-year with Highest Net Prices. U.S. Department of Education. 2011). Since 2000, students have seen a growing disparity in the relationship between tuition and state appropriations. Minnesota statute outlines the commitment of our state to pay two-thirds the cost of higher education.  While this used to be true, reduced state support has largely forced additional financial burdens on Minnesota students. Tuition and fees now accounts for the majority of the Minnesota State system’s revenue. In 2013, MSCSA worked with lawmakers to address college affordability through increased investment in the Minnesota State Grant program, especially for working, part-time students. Legislators also heard MSCSA’s concerns about high tuition and instituted a two-year tuition freeze for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

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