fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

College Student Fees Targeted By Youngest MN Lawmaker

Student fees at Minnesota’s public universities and colleges used to be something of an afterthought in the whirl of registering for classes. But over the years those fees have become a concern for many students already hit with perpetual tuition hikes. The cost of fees automatically imposed in addition to tuition for students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus has risen to $432 per semester.

But the Star Tribune reports help is on the way for students who don’t need or want the services funded by their fees.

Fees that help pay for health and recreation centers, school newspapers, student government, collegiate athletics and other campus groups would be optional at Minnesota’s public colleges and universities under a measure moving at the Capitol.

It’s included in a broader, $3.2 billion higher education budget bill that the House passed earlier this month. Lawmakers are now working to finalize a spending plan for public campuses that they will send on to Gov. Mark Dayton.Christensen on Floor

The measure is authored by one of the youngest state legislators in the country–Rep. Drew Christensen, R-Savage. The 23 year old lawmaker ought to know. He’s a 2015 UOM grad who participated in the marching band and Minnesota Student Association. Christensen believes the option could help reduce the soaring cost of college.

Some university administrators and students say making the fees optional could just push those charges onto tuition bills, or threaten the livelihood of vital student groups and services. But Christensen said the costs are unfair to students who don’t want to participate in those activities.

“Students having to work extra jobs to pinch pennies and work their way through college don’t necessarily have time to participate in these student groups and are having to work extra hours or take out more in student loans to be able to afford these student fees,” he said.

The common sense legislation has drawn opposition from student groups whose funding could be compromised. But Christensen says the bill would also make the cost of college more transparent.

He’s concerned colleges are disguising the full cost of education by paying for groups and campus operations out of fees rather than tuition. He said its unfair that students who don’t take advantage of those offerings have to pay for other students to do so.

Under the student-fee provision, the University of Minnesota would be penalized if it implemented a mandatory fee; the state would drop its funding by the amount the university collected in activity fees.

“It’s not that it’s the silver bullet, this isn’t going to suddenly make college affordable, but it helps,” Christensen said.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders- Now in September!

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    NEW SEPTEMBER DATE: We have made the difficult decision to once again move the date of this event. We will now host our Annual Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. All tickets bought for the April 4th, or June 18th dates are transferrable. We are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, but we look forward to seeing you on September 19! Direct any questions to Kathryn Hinderaker (kathryn.hinderaker@americanexperiment.org or 612-428-7005).   American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to…

    Register Now