That’s what’s being reported with a new report showing that North Dakota gets more college students from Minnesota than any other state, and it goes along with a report from the Wall Street Journal indicating that North Dakota gets a lot of students at its campuses from all over the nation.
No doubt higher education officials in North Dakota would like us to believe that the students are coming here because of our “world class” institutions (which actually rank near the bottom if we measure how they serve students rather than how much federal pork they get), but is that really it? Or is it because North Dakota taxpayers pay more per capita to subsidize higher education than any other taxpayers in the nation, and our university officials use those subsidies to waive tens of millions of dollars in tuition for these students?
FARGO — North Dakota State University and UND continue to be the top importer of Minnesota high school graduates, according to a new report.
The same report also shows that Minnesota State University Moorhead and Minnesota State Community and Technical College are among the top 10 Minnesota schools to import high school graduates from other states.
The analysis by the Minnesota Private Colleges Council shows that Minnesota was a “net exporter” of undergraduate students in 2010.
That is, while 10,649 high school graduates from other states chose to attend college in Minnesota, there were 14,495 Minnesota students who went to college out of state, the report says.
That resulted in a net loss of 3,846 students.
But what was a loss for Minnesota was a win for North Dakota, which had a net gain of 1,498 Minnesota students, more than any other border state, according to the analysis.
In the 2010 – 2011 school year, North Dakota State University granted 20.1% of its students some level of tuition waiver. The University of North Dakota granted 13.7% of its students waivers.
At NDSU alone, the price tag for those waivers was $15.2 million or 21.4% of the university’s tuition revenues.
Is it any wonder that so many students are flocking to North Dakota for college when we’re luring them in with heavy discounts in tuition? Meanwhile, NDSU hit students with an 8.8% tuition increase this year, and North Dakota taxpayers have footed the bill for a 47% increase in higher education spending since 2004 (with only a 5% increase in full time enrollment):
What may be a great deal for Minnesota students, and students from all over, isn’t such a great deal for the taxpayers. Or the students who don’t get the benefit of a tuition waiver.
But this is the mentality North Dakota’s university system has. It’s all empire-building, all the time. The goal is bigger enrollment, larger campuses, growing budgets and larger faculties and staffs. If it takes massive tuition waivers to jam more students on campuses to justify all of those things, so be it.
It’s only other people’s money.