The Minnesota Colleges and Universities system (MNSCU) is made up of 37 colleges and universities. These include:

  • 30 two-year old colleges
  • 7 state universities
  • 54 campuses spread over 47 communities in the state

The Minnesota Colleges and Universities system is the biggest higher-education system in Minnesota and the 5th largest in the United States. It is separate from the University of Minnesota system. It is responsible for educating more than 400,000 students each year.

Budget deficits

According to the administration for the system of colleges and universities, various institutions are set to face major shortfalls in their upcoming budgets if no changes are made going forward. This situation can be attributed to the rising costs, declining enrollment, and lack of state investments.

A plan was recently put forward during a Board of Trustees meeting to remedy the situation. Some of the items addressed included cutting costs, pushing enrollments, and asking the state to allocate more resources to the system.

Primary aspects of the plan

The plan proposed increasing student retention by 5 percent and drawing in more high school graduates to the system. It recommended raising the number of students who proceed to the university to pursue baccalaureate degree after finishing their associate degree programs by 10 percent in five years.

A press release by the higher education system announced new transfer program for students who obtain an associate of arts degree to continue their learning in one of Minnesota’s State universities under a junior year status. Students looking to apply need a minimum 2.0 GPA and a completed transfer curriculum for them to be eligible for the program.

Several ideas regarding cost cutting measures were put forward by Chancellor Steven Rosenstone, some of which included reducing facility expenses and halting pay rises until there was new recurring revenue.

Administrators also highlighted the need for the state to step up its funding or at least try to match the national average spent on students and school projects in order to keep campus facilities updated.

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