Border Battle Over Tuition

By: Melissa Wollering Email
By: Melissa Wollering Email

Minnesota wants future students from Wisconsin to pay more as part of the state's reciprocity agreement. Right now, Wisconsin residents pay almost $2,000 dollars less than Minnesota residents to attend University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

Wisconsin residents pay $8,219 per year to attend U of M in the Twin Cities. That is $1,191 dollars less than their Minnesota counterparts.

When Minnesota residents enroll at UW-Madison, they pay an extra $1,588 more than Wisconsin students. Minnesotans also shell out more than $1,700 more than badger state residents to attend UW-Milwaukee.

Connie Hutchison is the Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board. She says her office has rejected Minnesota's proposal because it would ask residents in both states to pay the same rate.

"What Minnesota is proposing is that we go to a higher of the two tuition rates," says Hutchison. "If you would go to the Twin Cities campus, which we pair with the Madison campus, whichever school has the higher tuition, that's the tuition that the students would pay."

Hutchison's office plans to start negotiations with Minnesota's higher education department as early as next week. It hopes to reach an agreement by the end of February so that students thinking of enrolling for the following year can plan ahead.

Current reciprocity students would be grandfathered in to their current rates. Students starting school in the Fall of 2007 would be affected.

If the current proposal goes through, the change would happen in increments or gradually. After four years, Wisconsin and Minnesota students would pay the same rates.

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