Approved by the: Student Senate April 24, 2003
Administration - no action required
Board of Regents - no action required


The Student Senate Consultative Committee charged the Student Affairs Committee to investigate the proposal made by the Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC) to the state legislature. This proposal calls for 30% of the state’s higher education budget to be dedicated to need-based financial aid by 2006. The Committee heard reports from the following individuals:
Frank Viggiano, Executive Director, Minnesota State University Student Association,
Peter Zetterberg, Director, Institutional Research and Reporting, University of Minnesota, and
David Laird, President, Minnesota Private College Council.

Based on these reports, the Student Affairs Committee does not support this proposal for the following reasons:

  1. Philosophically, the committee does not agree with the high tuition/high aid model proposed by the MPCC. Appropriating more money into the state grant program would result in decreased funds to the University and it does not appear, given current trends, that more state grant money would actually go to students attending the University.
  2. The University of Minnesota, as a public institution, provides valuable services to the State of Minnesota. The MPCC proposal would jeopardize the University’s role in fulfilling this function because it would directly shift money away from the University to other institutions.
  3. The MPCC failed to provide convincing evidence to support its proposal for increasing state aid for students attending private institutions. The committee was left with many unanswered questions. A funding formula equitable for all students irrespective of the cost of the institution they choose to attend should be maintained.
  4. This proposal is directed toward undergraduate education. It does not take into account graduate and professional programs, which are unique to the University of Minnesota. If the State of Minnesota moves towards a high tuition/high aid model, these students, who are already paying high tuition, would be further penalized.
  5. Middle income students and families suffer under a high tuition/high aid system because they do not qualify for the high aid and therefore frequently need to borrow money to pay for high tuition, thereby accumulating a larger debt burden.

Approved by the Student Affairs Committee on April 22, 2003

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