Author Topic: 2-year tuition freeze advocated for ND colleges  (Read 1184 times)

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Offline pmp6nl

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2-year tuition freeze advocated for ND colleges
« on: January 26, 2011, 08:57:58 pm »
2-year tuition freeze advocated for ND colleges
By DALE WETZEL Associated Press , The Associated Press - BISMARCK, N.D.

Student spokesmen for North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota argued Tuesday about a proposed two-year tuition freeze that would require about $19 million in added state aid to carry out.

Evan Andrist, a student lobbyist for UND, told the North Dakota House Education Committee during its hearing on the legislation Tuesday that the proposal would help keep tuition affordable for college students.

"Invest in these students now, so that they can someday invest back into North Dakota," Andrist said.

However, Robert Vallie, an NDSU student lobbyist, said the measure was not specific about how the Board of Higher Education would split up the tuition aid among North Dakota's 11 public colleges. "It leaves a lot of uncertainty in the whole process," Vallie said.

The Project on Student Debt, based in Oakland, Calif., ranked North Dakota 27th in student debt in 2009. The organization estimated that North Dakota's 2009 college graduates carried an average debt of $22,030, and said 71 percent of graduates had some debt.

"North Dakota is below average on starting salaries in most industries," Mock said. "We truly are pricing many college (students) out of an education, and really putting them at a disadvantage when they enter the work force."

The legislation introduced by Mock and Schneider would extend the tuition freeze to four-year schools.

Tuition charges have remained even at North Dakota's two-year schools for the last two years, while they have risen 3.5 percent annually at the state's four-year public universities.

Tuition expenses in North Dakota's university system have risen steeply in the last decade. At North Dakota State University, for example, the current bill for tuition and mandatory fees is $5,639 annually, compared to $2,604 during the 2000-01 school year.

At Bismarck State College, the largest of North Dakota's two-year schools, tuition has risen from $1,649 during the 2000-01 school year to $3,364 now.

If there is going to be a freeze it should be for all schools.


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