U of M proposes tuition pilots
At its May meeting, the Board of Regents Mission Fulfillment Committee will discuss proposed next steps in the University’s exploration of leading-edge tuition and pricing models.
Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson will present key elements of the proposed model, while leaders at Crookston, Duluth and Morris will outline pilot programs specifically built around the unique enrollment and retention needs of those campuses.
“We're not recommending disruptive changes, but instead a model of ‘experiment, evaluate, implement,’” Croson said of the proposal. “With over 41,000 undergraduate students enrolled systemwide, it is important to make data-driven tuition pricing and policy decisions. This model supports experimentation via campus-specific pilots paired with careful study of the effects of the pilots on enrollment, student success, student debt and other measures.”
The strategies Croson will highlight recommend maintaining many existing practices: different pricing for in-state and out-of-state students, honoring tuition reciprocity agreements, and only charging for up to 13 credits per semester and offering any additional credits free of charge — known as banded tuition. Mirroring similar approaches at Big 10 peers such as Michigan and Ohio State, proposed targeted pilots are built around three key principles:
- Empowering campuses to identify new ideas to try, make policy changes or approve temporary exceptions to enable experimentation.
- Evaluating new ideas based on data, such as impact on enrollment, student success outcomes and student debt.
- Deciding whether to implement the idea permanently, on an individual campus or across the University system.
Three initial pilots will be discussed at next week’s meeting.
At Crookston, the campus will explore new tuition models for fully online undergraduate programs, differing from in-person, undergraduate programs. The 2023-24 academic year would be used to identify degrees, tuition structures and tuition levels, with a request to the Board to approve implementation in the following year.
At Duluth, a proposed Midwest Tuition Rate pilot in which undergraduate degree-seeking students from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska or Ohio would pay the undergraduate resident tuition at Duluth, saving $2,695 per semester at current tuition rates. This program seeks to recover students who were formerly in the Midwest Student Exchange Program, but whose states have withdrawn from participation in recent years.
At Morris, the Morris Summer Scholarships program would provide financial aid for qualified students to enroll in up to six credits of in-person or online summer courses. This will enable students to complete one of the 34 majors that have been restructured to permit graduation in three years rather than four, and facilitate a path to graduate study or faster employment.
The Board of Regents has final authority over tuition and fees. Board action will be needed before any proposed pilot programs can be adopted.
Thursday's conversation will follow a series of Board discussions related to tuition and pricing, including a presentation of the systemwide undergraduate enrollment strategy last June and individual presentations from each campus about its progress toward its own MPact 2025 enrollment goals. This work addresses a specific goal in the University’s comprehensive systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025, which commits the University to define a tuition and pricing model by 2023
Also during its May meetings, the Board is expected to:
- Review and act on recommendations for promotion and tenure and other academic appointments, which will include three faculty members detailing their research, education and outreach activities.
- Recognize distinguished students, faculty and staff.
- Review the administration’s recommended FY23 capital improvement budget.
- Discuss next steps for the NXT GEN MED and NXT GEN AG programs, pilots currently underway at the Rochester and Crookston campuses, respectively.
- Receive an update on the 2023 Minnesota legislative session and how the work of the Legislature is impacting the University.
- Review the annual workforce and human resources strategy report.
- Receive an MPact 2025 Sustainability Update from the University’s first Chief Sustainability Officer Shane Stennes.
- Review proposed amendments to Board of Regents Policy: Endowment Fund with the University’s Office of Investments & Banking.
- Receive an update on the President's Initiative for Student Mental Health.
For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.
- Campus Affairs
- Board of Regents