U of M freezes tuition rates for 20-21 school year, MinnState projects revenue losses and freezes administrator pay

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents this week voted to freeze student tuition for the 2020-21 school year. Tuition will be allowed to increase in these professional program areas: dentistry, medical school, and three professional masters in the College of Science & Engineering, Twin Cities campus.  

President Joan Gabel made the recommendation at the April 21 special meeting, suggesting the Regents approve the proposal so U of M staff could inform potential students of the freeze. The University’s student enrollment commitment date deadline is May 1.

Current incoming first year student numbers are below 2019 numbers: total first year enrollment in 2019 was 6,548; in 2020 is 6,027; the total number of transfer students in 2019 was 1141 and 1,702 in 2020.

Regents will get a full picture of the University’s budget in May when President Joan Gabel makes her proposals. U of M officials earlier this month outlined the budget concerns in “best case”, “moderate case”, and “worst case” scenarios”; a best-case scenario would be operations returning to normal this summer, moderate-case is operations returning to normal by fall, and the worst-case would be operations returning to normal next spring.

Projected revenue losses predicted are:

  • Best case: $85 million
  • Moderate: $160 million
  • Worst case: $315 million

The Minnesota State system has not made a decision yet on a tuition freeze for next fall. MinnState administrators are considering next steps to benefit their education quality. MinnState anticipates $35-$40 million in lost revenue for the remainder of FY20, which ends on June 30.

At a Board of Trustees meeting this week, MinnState administrators outlined potential revenue losses of $75 million if enrollment were to drop 5% next fall to a high of $280 million is enrollment dropped 20%. MinnState expects to receive $93 million from the federal CARES Act; $47 million of that must be in direct aid to students.

This week, Chancellor Devinder Malhotra also announced that for the remainder of FY2020, all administrator pay will be frozen, including the suspension of exceptional performance pay and merit increases for FY2020. For FY2021, Chancellor Malhotra will take a voluntary 10% salary reduction.

Both University and MinnState officials will make further decisions based on federal CARES Act funding. University President Gabel will present the FY21 budget at the May Regent board meeting.

Senate DFL Media