HIBBING — Students at Hibbing Community College will be paying an additional $4.73 per credit for their undergraduate degrees beginning this fall semester.

Earlier this week, the board of trustees for the Minnesota State College and University System — the largest higher education system in the state and one of the largest in the U.S. — reportedly voted in approval of a $2.1 billion budget for the system which has experienced stagnant enrollment in recent years.

Predicting yet another enrollment dip this fall, the system’s board of trustees passed the budget 9-3 amid vocal opposition. Trustees approved a 3 percent tuition increase for state colleges and universities for the 2019-2020 academic year, though the new rates may not be enough to recover lost revenue for some.

On Friday, HCC Provost Michael Raich said the statewide tuition increase means Hibbing-based students will be paying an additional $4.73 per credit or $162.35 in total for undergraduate credit. Raich explained that the resident undergraduate tuition at Minnesota’s two-year colleges ranges from $149.29 per credit to $178.15 per credit.

The Minnesota State system is one of two in systems statewide which formed through legislation in the 1990s, merging seven state universities, 34 technical colleges and 21 community colleges under one board. The hope at the time was that the move would improve facility planning, coordinate program delivery, increase institutional accountability and improve student transfer as well as boost efficiency and effectiveness over the long term.

In efforts to recruit and retain prospective students, the Minnesota State system is launching its inaugural “Minnesota State Week” scheduled for June 24-28, a time when seven state universities and 30 state colleges plan to waive college application fees— among them Hibbing Community College, Mesabi Range College in Virginia and Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids.

The participating colleges will all be offering tours throughout the week to try and encourage prospective students to come check out their campus and consider applying. The HCC website notes that tours are available between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and those who come will be entered into a prize drawing.

To learn more or to schedule a tour during Minnesota State Week, contact HCC at 800-224-4422. To reach MRC call 218-741-3095, or for ICC call 218-322-2300.

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