North Dakota Holds Down College Cost Increases, Compared to Upward National Trends
BISMARCK, N.D. - Tuition and fees increases at North Dakota's public colleges and universities are significantly less than national average increases reported in a study released Oct. 20, 2009, by The College Board.
Nationwide, the average published price of in-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges increased 6.5 percent for the 2009-10 academic year and 7.3 percent at public two-year colleges, according to the report. In North Dakota, four-year university in-state tuition and fees increased 3.5 percent, and two-year tuition and fees increased 0.8 percent.
"Maintaining college affordability was a major initiative of the State Board of Higher Education during the 2009 Legislative Session," said Bill Goetz, chancellor of the North Dakota University System. "Thanks to the support of our state leaders, the four-year universities limited 2009-10 tuition increases to 3.5 percent, and the two-year colleges froze 2009-10 tuition rates at the 2008-09 level."
Recent economic challenges are cited as a reason for higher education cost increases in The College Board report. Here in North Dakota, state lawmakers are making use of the state's strong economy to help hold down the cost of college.
In addition to limiting tuition increases, the 2009-11 NDUS budget includes $19 million - almost triple the previous amount - in state general funds for needs-based financial aid, and $3 million for two new scholarship programs: The North Dakota Academic Scholarship and the Career and Technical Education Scholarship.
"We're very fortunate that our governor and Legislature share the State Board of Higher Education's vision for affordable and accessible college education," said Richie Smith, president of the State Board of Higher Education. "All of us understand that an investment in higher education is an investment in our state's future."