UMD Likely Raising Tuition and Using Reserves

By KBJR News 1

February 15, 2011 Updated Feb 15, 2011 at 11:16 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - UMD finance officials say the governor's budget proposal may be a bit too optimistic.
A tuition increase may be necessary once it is scaled down to reality.

Right now the Duluth campus is working with about $39-million from state funding. For the next year, that number could drop to $32-million.

"There are very few places that that money can come from and one of them is from student's tuition," said Greg Fox.

A student could pay another five percent more next year.

"And as tuition carries more of the freight, it's a little easier to deal with the impact that the state has on the overall budget," said Fox.

The school did plan ahead, and wants to fill half of the gap with reserve funds.

"It is money we want to spend on something else, would've spent on something else, but we knew the state's financial situation was such that we knew we would get a cut," said Fox.

The discussion to dip into reserve funds is also happening at the K-12 level, but for Duluth public schools, the reserve funds are non-recurring, so using them would be a one time deal.

Some Duluth school board members said they would like to dip into some of the district's reserve funds, but other members say doing so would simply delay cuts.

Looking to the future of education, Fox prefers to think positive.

"I think when times get better, and they will get better that we will make a commitment to things that are important in the state and education in general and higher education will be seen as important."

Until then, students, taxpayers, districts and schools will make up the difference.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike