Editorial: U of M president needs to put students first

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, October 8, 2008

If University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks and the Board of Regents are serious about reaching any top three goals, they need to put the interest of students first.

But by increasing tuition of both undergraduate and graduate students, university officials are effectively increasing the debt of each.

The high tuition rates and average debt could potentially scare away talented students to schools more accommodating to their financial needs. The average student debt of a university graduate is $24,995, the worst in the Big Ten among public universities. Illinois has the lowest debt at $15,413.

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Meanwhile the medical school has one of the worst college debt rates at $141,000, according to the Graduate and Professional Student Association, mostly due to some of the highest tuition rates among medical schools.

The University medical school created a policy that capped tuition for incoming students so that the rate does not rise during their tenure at the school. The policy helped the medical school drop from the most expensive average tuition at a public school to the second most expensive in the nation.

Why not implement a similar policy for other schools at the University?

The Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Association should fight for tuition caps for both undergraduates and graduates.

— The Minnesota Daily, Sept. 29