Montana Colleges To See Tuition Fee Hikes Education
Tuition fees for students in the Montana university system are expected to rise after years of stagnant student costs.
The Board of Regents at a meeting Thursday approved campus tuition rates for the next two years based on state funding allocations from the recent legislative session.
A freeze on undergraduate tuition fees for residents across the university system will remain in effect for the 2022 fiscal year. The following year, it will increase by 3% for each campus.
Tuition fees for non-residents and increases in tuition rates for resident graduates will vary from campus to campus over the next two years.
At Montana State University, undergraduate and graduate non-resident tuition rates will each increase 9% over two years, 4% in 2022, and an additional 5% in 2023. Resident graduate rates will remain lowest. same in 2022 but will increase by 3% the following year.
The in-state undergraduate tuition fee for MSU for the 2020-2021 school year was $ 7,770, out-of-state undergraduate tuition fees were $ 27,400, according to the website. university. The tuition fees for graduates at MSU in the last academic year were $ 5,408 for in-state students and $ 16,634 for out-of-state students.
Higher Education Commissioner Clayton Christian said keeping tuition fees through the university system affordable for Montana families has been a “north star” for OCHE and the council.
Regents and OCHE staff commented on how the history of the tuition freeze has made post-secondary education more accessible to Montana students.
Some form of tuition freeze for resident students has been in place for campuses in the university system for eight of the past 16 years.
In the past decade, Montana has seen the smallest increase in tuition and tuition fees outside of the western states, according to OCHE data.
The 16 western states are increasing tuition fees by about 57%, while those in Montana are up 31%, according to data from 2010 to 2020.
Christian said that while the tuition freeze has an “interesting sound touch,” what the university system and the Montana legislature have done is prevent the funding increases from negatively impacting students.
“Instead of having it on the backs of students, we had it on the backs of other sources of funding,” Christian said. “… When we talk about the tuition fee freeze, what we are saying is that we have been fortunate to have other sources of funding.”
A few regents have pushed to understand which student population would be most affected by these increases and how the university system relies on non-resident tuition fees.
Regent Todd Buchanan has expressed concern about the tuition hike for all Montana residents, even proposing a failed amendment to remove the 3% tuition hike for residents in 2023.
“I believe it is our responsibility to serve the resident student,” he said, adding that non-resident students are a tool the university system could use to keep rates low for Montana students. .
He expressed concern about the steady decline in enrollment in the university system over the past seven years and “the dramatic decline in income from tuition fees.”
MSU enrollments have grown steadily over the past seven years, with a slight decline for 2021. Although resident enrollments have remained stable, most of the growth comes from undergraduates and graduates outside of the UK. ‘State.
But throughout the university system, the story has been one of declining enrollment. From 2013 to 2020, tuition fees in the university system fell from around 44,000 students eight years ago to 33,379 students last year.
Increases in mandatory fees, such as athletics, facilities, technology, equipment and recreation fees, have been approved at a rate not to exceed 3% for resident students on each campus.
The mandatory fees for Montana residents at MSU will increase by 2.3% while the non-resident fees will increase by 2.1%. Program and course fee increases will vary across the university campus.
Throughout the committee’s discussion on Thursday, the regents recognized how frustrating tuition fees can be for students and families.
Christian said OCHE could undertake a review to better understand the impact of fees on students across the system.
Regent Amy Sexton has asked OCHE to include online students in any in-depth fee analysis. She said students would likely already pay fees to take online classes while paying the same fees as students in person, without using those resources.