Approved by the: Student Senate December 4, 2008
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required
*The University remains fully committed to identifying strategies that provide adequate tuition revenue for the University without unduly burdening Minnesota students and their families. The University has done this by providing free tuition to all low-income Minnesota students, generating $260 million in the past five years to support new scholarships, and creating incentives to encourage timely degree completion, thereby reducing total tuition costs for students. Low-income families no longer face the highest hurdles in terms of affordability. The University is also committed to improving financial support for middle-income Minnesota students, one of the biggest priorities moving forward.

RESOLUTION ON A TUITION CAP

Whereas,         The University's and state's average student debt is higher than the national average which gives Minnesota the fifth-highest student debt[1] in the nation at an average of $24,995 per student[2]; and

Whereas,         Even Though student loans are likely to go unaffected by the recent economic crisis[3], students' financial situations are bound to suffer in ways outside of loans for the next few years; and

Whereas,         University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks acknowledged that "we're headed for a difficult situation"[4] in regards to tuition in the struggling economy and that he was "somewhat disappointed that we didn't have the ability to drive down tuition more for students"[5]; and

Whereas,         There is currently limited student input in the tuition process and there is no formal stance to which students might rally around; and

Whereas,         Students must be protected from the potential hazards of the recent economic crash and opportunist loan companies; therefore be it

RESOLVED   That the University of Minnesota Student Senate endorses a 5.5% yearly tuition increase cap in order to protect students from the backlash of the economic problems, limit the amount of interaction students have with loan companies, and to slow the steady incline of tuition over the past several years; and be if further

RESOLVED   That the University of Minnesota Student Senate supports the 5.5% cap expiring after two years in order to leave future flexibility for both students and administrators and so that there is continual motivation to re-negotiate and improve the tuition status so that by revisiting the cap, oversight is provided for students as to the reasons for increases or decreases in the tuition thus keeping students informed on the needs of the University and keeping administrators aware of the concerns of their students.



[1]http://projectonstudentdebt.org/state_by_state-data.php

[2]http://mndaily.com/2008/09/29/fighting-rising-tuition-and-student-debt

[3]http://mndaily.com/2008/09/25/student-loans-not-likely-affected-bailout

[4]http://mndaily.com/2008/09/26/gapsa-looks-tackle-student-tuition-debt

[5] http://mndaily.com/2008/10/06/tuition-campaign


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