Higher ed board grants DSU tuition changeDue to past tuition waivers, some Dickinson State University students from out of state will see a “slight” increase in tuition, despite the rate being lowered, which will create efficiencies for the next school year.
Due to past tuition waivers, some Dickinson State University students from out of state will see a “slight” increase in tuition, despite the rate being lowered, which will create efficiencies for the next school year.
The State Board of Higher Education unanimously approved a request from DSU to lower its tuition rate for a group of non-resident students from $12,076 to $6,786 during a teleconference Friday morning.
Nearly all students affected traditionally received full or partial tuition waivers including waivers for Global Awareness and Cultural Diversity. The change would eliminate many tuition waivers, thereby increasing the amount students pay, said DSU President D.C. Coston.
It puts those affected at a rate of 150 percent of the $4,524 charged to North Dakota students. That’s compared to an average of about 125 percent they currently pay.
Changing the rate creates a more efficient system, since “significant” resources are expended on paperwork for waivers, Coston said.
A recent performance audit by the State Auditor’s Office, which found inconsistencies at DSU, recommended similar action.
Coston encouraged immediate action on the proposal “because this decision affects everything we do regarding financial aid and the way we structure things regardless of where students come from.”
“I can tell you it’s getting quite late in the season to recruit and so forth,” he said. “We’ve missed out on a number of students and we also, quite frankly, have missed out on a number of athletes that could have potentially been important to this institution. So we’re needing to move forward.”
Those affected include all international students except Canadians with special agreements. American students from states where other tuition agreements are not established will also be affected.
Returning students who fall into the category affected will be grandfathered in, and will continue to have waivers for the next year, to which at least one board member voiced opposition.
“I don’t see the reason for the grandfathering,” said Duaine Espegard, SBHE vice president. “Nobody guarantees tuition from beginning year to ending year and tuitions change from time to time.”
Coston agreed but added there is implication that financial arrangements will remain similar.
“We believe that we can have conversations over the next year and in a year from now, we would have everyone at 150 (percent),” Coston said. “But right now, I’m not sure that we have enough time and energy and staff to handle almost 200 individual conversations in the next couple of weeks.”
He added students will be made aware that tuition may fluctuate further after next year.
Espegard also suggested charging 200 percent of the in-state resident tuition rate with no waivers for those who enroll in the fall or later.
“Now we’re attempting to, I guess, have our cake and eat it too or something along those lines,” said Robert Vallie, SBHE student member.
Others met Espegard’s suggestion with strong opposition.
“If that were to be the action that the board takes, as soon as word gets out, I would predict that we would have three to four offices that will have incredibly long lines of international students standing at them wondering about what’s going on,” Coston said.
He believes many would want transfer.
After much discussion, board members agreed DSU’s proposal was the best option.
The rate is effective for the fall semester.