The Minnesota legislature recently decided to grant permission to Minnesota State College and Universities to eliminate fees for online classes. As a result, St. Cloud State University (SCSU) is eliminating the online fee for undergraduate and graduate students. Other changes to tuition include an increase of 3.5% for all students. St. Cloud State continues to offer one of the lowest rates of tuition in the Minnesota State system, while offering excellent academic programs and life-changing opportunities for the success of all students in work and in life.
St. Cloud State joins six of the 7 universities in the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities with the decision to cut online fees. Previously, SCSU’s online courses included an additional $50.00 per credit fee for undergraduate and $75 per credit fee for graduate students to support the delivering courses online. Many students were likely to experience unanticipated expenses as they enrolled in online courses as a preferred mode of course delivery, or the need for flexibility, and the in-person limitations of the pandemic. The per-credit fee added a significant expense for SCSU students choosing to take courses online, with some having to take classes in-person to avoid the fees. The elimination of the fee will translate to significant savings for students who take only a few online classes or all classes online. University leaders anticipate that a majority of students will benefit from this decision as the number students taking online classes as part of their portfolio continues to increase. The Student Government Association has been consulted in this decision and is supportive.
The University offers a banded rate of tuition for undergraduate students. That is, students pay a flat rate of tuition for 12-18 credits. The banded tuition structure and the elimination of online fees per credit offers more ease with anticipating expenses and financial planning. The change in tuition for Fall 2022 also reflects a 3.5% undergraduate tuition increase as approved by the Minnesota State system office for the 2022-2023 academic year. By law, this adjustment is not intended to increase revenue or profits for the university.
Spreading the cost of online classes across all students means that students who take all of their classes online will save $272.00 for 12 credits or more. If a student takes 6 credits online and 6 in person, there will be no change. Students who attend all in-person classes will pay an additional $338.00 in tuition as they take 12 or more credits. While this may be viewed as a hike in tuition, the number of students enrolled in all in-person courses is on the decline. In 2022, for example, nearly 60% of SCSU students enrolled in some form of online classes. Looking ahead, it is likely that a majority of students will see some measure of savings because they are no longer paying the online fee.
St. Cloud State continues to remain one of the most affordable universities in Minnesota.
Anticipating the cost of tuition will be simplified for students with few per-credit fees and a banded tuition structure. Students will be able to choose the course that works best for them, instead of making a decision based on the additional fees associated with the course.
Students taking online classes will see a decrease in their per credit cost because they will not have the Online/Guided Study Courses $50 per credit fee for undergraduate and $75 for graduate students added onto their tuition bill.
Students taking all on-campus classes will see an increase in their rate of tuition as the per-credit fee for online classes is factored into tuition for all students. As students increasingly take online classes, this will translate into cost savings over time for a majority of students.
The majority of St. Cloud State students take a mix of both online and in-person classes. This fall, 1,756 students are registered for only in-person classes, 1,537 are registered for only online classes and 5,073 are registered for a mix of online and in-person classes.
St. Cloud State University administrators worked with students as they decided to make this change to the funding structure. Administrators met with Student Government to present on the proposed structure change during the spring semester. Students were supportive of the change.
St. Cloud State charges student fees for Health Services, Student Activities, Athletics, Facility Assessment, Student Union, Technology and Students United with a $74.26 flat Health Services fee and a $55.80 fee per credit (dropping to $12.80 per credit after 9 credits).
The Facilities fee is increasing 2% this fall and the Health Services fee is increasing 3% this fall. The online class differential fee is eliminated.
Posted: July 7, 2022