Tuition reciprocity leaves everyone who takes part in it better off as a result. Ten million dollars is real money. So real, that some Minnesota lawmakers are wondering whether the tuition reciprocity system is worth that price. Here's hoping they go where the evidence leads them: to the fact that the system is worth just about every dime.
Tuition reciprocity lets Minnesotans go to state colleges in Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota for about the same price as they'd pay at the University of Minnesota. In return, residents of those states can go to Minnesota schools and pay a low rate, too. The system makes a winner out of everyone concerned. ... First, it helps the state that the students come from. It gives the residents access to many more courses and majors than they'd ever be able to afford on their own. The best example is the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, right here in Grand Forks. Minnesota residents who graduated from the school can be found throughout the aerospace industry in Minnesota, including up and down the line at one of the state's biggest employers, Northwest Airlines.
Yet Minnesota has reaped these benefits at a fraction of what running its own aerospace school would cost. ... North Dakota pays much of the freight. But hold on. Does that mean North Dakotans are being taken for a ride? Not at all ... tuition reciprocity ... benefits the state that the students go to, as well.
North Dakota gets helped not only because students from this state win access to so many unique Minnesota programs, but also because our own programs ... are better off as a result.
Last and most obvious, tuition reciprocity helps the students themselves. It helps them find the program of their choice at a reasonable price, and also it helps exposes them to the bigger world outside their home state.
That's healthy for the student and the cultures of the two states. ...
--Grand Forks Herald
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