To the Metropolitan State University community:

The following is a letter to the editor that was published in the Star Tribune newspaper on Sept. 15. President Rassoul Dastmozd of Saint Paul College and I jointly penned this letter in response to an earlier report on tuition costs. Please read and share with your colleagues.

Sincerely,

President Virginia "Ginny" Arthur, JD
@MetroPresArthur
Metropolitan State University

There's no tuition sticker shock at Minnesota State schools 

We appreciated the Sept. 4 article on the sky-high tuition paired with discounts disguised as financial aid that many of the private colleges in Minnesota charge students (Sticker shock? States private colleges try to soften the blow).

Students and parents should know that thanks to support from the state of Minnesota, the colleges and universities of Minnesota State offer a far more affordable choice in fact, the lowest tuition and fees of any higher-education option in the state, even after private colleges discounts. The average tuition at Minnesota's seven state universities is $7,289 about half that of the University of Minnesota and less than one-fifth that of the $41,133 tuition at the University of St. Thomas cited in the article. At Minnesota State universities, many students receive financial aid, grants and scholarships, which, for the most financially needy students, can result in a net tuition rate of $851 per year. In addition, Minnesota's 30 state community and technical colleges have an average tuition of $4,815 (with a net rate of $391 for the most financially needy students after aid, grants and scholarships) a smart way to spend less for the first half of a bachelor's degree or to affordably complete career programs in two years or less.

The quality of instruction at Minnesota's state colleges and universities also is apparent; 87.4 percent of graduates land jobs within 12 months in areas related to their programs. We are proud of the Minnesota State track record of providing an extraordinary higher education at an exceptional value. We think the way to keep higher education affordable is to keep tuition low and avoid playing games with discounts.

Virginia (Ginny) Arthur and Rassoul Dastmozd

The writers, respectively, are president of Metropolitan State University and president and CEO of Saint Paul College.