Colleges propose 4% tuition increases for undergrads

May 16, 2017

NDUS Finance director Tammy Dolan.
Credit ND University System

Board of Higher Education chairman Kathleen Neset.
Credit ND University System

The Board of Higher Education has approved the annual budget guidelines for the state’s 11 public colleges and universities.

This will include tuition increases.

The 2017 legislature allowed the campuses to raise tuition to a cap of four percent for in-state students.

"For all campuses, they are requesting a maximum tuition rate increase of 4 percent," said University System Finance Director Tammy Dolan. "That's the Legislative cap."

Dolan told the state Board of Higher Education -- given the reductions in general fund spending, it wasn’t surprising that the campuses are asking for that. Dolan said the campuses will also be increasing undergraduate tuition by four percent. But she said the Legislature did not cap tuition for certain graduate and specialty programs – and Dolan says UND and NDSU have proposed further tuition hikes.

"The UND School of Law is asking for a maximum 9 percent tuition increase for their resident law school studnets," Dolan told the Board. "NDSU School of Pharmacy would have a 5 percent increase. And UND, for its basic graduate program, and the medical lab science graduate program, would have a 7 percent increase."

Dolan said the same rates apply to non-residents – except NDSU wants a 7 ½ percent increase for pharmacy students from Minnesota.

"The reason the Legislature gave us that flexibility is to allow us to adapt to our unique market at the various institutions, while still remaining competitive," Dolan said. "These institutions have determined that these rates will help cover costs, while still allowing them to attract students."

University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott told the Board this was a significant win for the University System – because it shows lawmakers trust the colleges to raise tuition prudently.

Board of Higher Education chairman Kathleen Neset said those tuition proposals from the two research universities were well thought out.

"They were not across the board," Neset said. "These were specific to programs. I find that important."