Northern looks at small tuition increase

 

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Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]

The Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education is set Thursday and Friday to look at increasing tuition at the state universities, and the chancellor of Montana State University- Northern said Havre's university will ask for a small increase. Rolf Groseth said when the state Legislature finished its work last month the state appropriations were a little short for Northern to continue to offer all of the programs it offers now. “A little over a hundred dollars a semester, that would fill in the gap for us,” Groseth said. The state Senate implemented a 2-percent across-the-board cut in state agency spending that cut more than $7 million from the university system funding. That cut remained after the Senate and House finished compro- mising on their proposed state budget And use of federal stimulus money. The university system has two sources of money for its budget the amount appropriated by the state Legislature, and tuition and fees, which are set by the Board of Regents. Groseth said that he doesn't believe the proposed increase for Northern would have an impact on enrollment, especially because students will be able to use a higher amount of Pell grants for their college expenses. “Our maximum Pell grants are going up about $600,” Groseth said. The Associated Press reports that Montana State University and the University of Montana are asking for tuition increases for nonresident students and for fee increases for all students. Groseth said that increasing nonresident tuition can have a major impact for the Bozeman and Missoula campuses, but little impact on most of the other campuses. Nonresident students are a small percentage of the students at Northern, he said. He added that the members of the board are mixed on whether to raise tuition or not, although the student body presidents at both MSU in Bozeman and Missoula's UM have said a tuition increase is needed to prevent program cuts. “There is division on the board as to whether there ought to be increases because of the times we're living in,” Groseth said. “It's up to me to make the case that the impact (of not increasing tuition) would be bad on our students.”


 

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