Unfrozen Tuition



“Tuition Freeze!” is the cry that is being echoed across the University of Minnesota campus and sent to state legislators. Now what student would not advocate for a frozen tuition? They would owe less money, right? Well there is a group of students on campus that are emailing their representatives about not passing the Higher Education Finance Omnibus Bill that would require the University of Minnesota to freeze their tuition. These are the students that believe in personal education as an investment in one’s own future, not the burden of every tax paying Minnesotan. They understand that these sorts of laws can’t just be passed without repercussions both now, and in the future.

Freezing the UMN’s tuition rate does nothing to lower the University’s operating budget. If it were to pass, the school would still require just as much money as it would with a steadily increasing tuition but, demand it from the state of Minnesota as they would be the ones to enact the law. Now, it doesn’t take a political science major to understand that the state of Minnesota gets a large portion of its revenue from its citizens. This means that every hardworking Minnesotan in the state would be fronting a greater cost for the few thousand students that chose the path of higher education. Under the current Minnesota budget, every man, woman, and child is already paying $236 a year straight toward higher education. Yet this isn’t enough?

Putting the greater burden on taxpayers aside, there is still the inevitable truth that nothing stays frozen forever. There will come a time when the tuition freeze must end. Then what? The University will be accustomed to receiving money that should have been tuition revenue as money from the state. With that revenue ceased, the University will look directly back to tuition fees for the money. This will create a shocking hike in tuition that will, then, be the burden of students who currently don’t even know what college they will go to.

Advocates of this freeze, such as MSA, are preying on the financially broke, and desperate students of today to join them in lobbying for a bill that will only create a burden for virtually everybody else in the state. It is not Minnesotan taxpayers that are responsible for their education and it is not the future students of the UMN that are responsible. Everyone must take responsibility for their own decisions on higher education. It is a personal investment.

If lower tuition rates is what you want, which is a perfectly reasonable request, do not burden your peers. Instead address the problem at its heart; here at the University itself. Instead of asking legislators to force it, write a letter to President Kaler telling him to do his job, and keep tuition low by responsible University action, not state compulsion.