Approved by the: Student Senate - December 5, 2013
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required

* Each year in the budget process, the professional schools/programs propose tuition rates for the following year based on a variety of factors, including comparison to peer institutions; overall cost of attendance; student debt loads; incentives to student behavior inherent in their particular tuition model; student demand; programmatic cost structures; and revenue increases necessary to sustain quality. The dependence on tuition revenue to fund operations differs by school, with tuition representing only 7% of the Medical School’s total revenues in FY13. The other professional schools are more dependent on tuition, with Veterinary Medicine at 18.5%, Dentistry at 29%, Pharmacy at 40%, and Law at 63%. The tuition guarantee model implemented in the Medical School reduces flexibility for collegiate management to address budget challenges because it “locks” a tuition rate in for a cohort. The School can increase tuition rates for each incoming class, but that is constrained by the variables identified above and may not allow the school to achieve necessary revenue goals. This lack of flexibility, combined with a higher dependence on tuition, makes a tuition guarantee model riskier for the other professional schools. It removes a tool they may need to access if there are shocks to their budget, such as unexpected decreases in enrollment/student credit hours, reductions to sponsored grant activity, or a reduction in state appropriation. Veterinary Medicine, also somewhat less dependent on tuition overall, has implemented some changes in its tuition model in recent years to address cost concerns. Beginning in FY14, the school reduced tuition for the 9th/final semester clinical year training by 25% for both resident and nonresident students, and the School’s proposal for the upcoming 2014-15 school year includes a tuition freeze for all Veterinary Medicine students, both resident and non-resident. Regarding residency status, this decision is not determined by individual schools or programs, but rather by the Resident Classification and Reciprocity Office for the entire University. This is to ensure consistency in application of residency status.

Resolution on Professional School Student Tuition Structure

WHEREAS, ten years ago, the medical school implemented a program called the guaranteed tuition program. They were the first medical school to implement this program.

WHEREAS, this program was adopted was to satisfy the non-traditional student. It helped incentivize students that took time off from the program to complete the program in under 6 years.

WHEREAS, this program was also implemented to prevent the University of Minnesota medical program from becoming one of the most expensive programs in the nation.

WHEREAS, we believe that both graduate and professional programs should adopt guaranteed tuition programs similar to the program implemented by the medical school.

WHEREAS, each program has very different financial needs and requirements, guaranteed tuition programs would increase the appeal of the university.

WHEREAS, of 28 veterinary schools in the country, the University of Minnesota college of veterinary medicine program is one of the most expensive programs to attend. Residents are charged $32,456 per year and non-residents $56,210.

WHEREAS, many students who moved to and live in Minnesota face difficulties in meeting the residency requirements.

WHEREAS, each year that a professional student is enrolled in the program, tuition increases a certain percentage.

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents approved a fiscal year 2014 tuition freeze for resident undergraduate tuition.

BE IT RESOLVED that professional programs consider modeling the tuition structure implemented by the medical school in 2003.

BE IT RESOLVED that professional programs review their model for gaining residency status in Minnesota.

BE IT RESOLVED that professional programs consider freezing tuition for all, but particularly out of state students.

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