Tags: North Dakota | oil revenue | free tuition | University of North Dakota

N. Dakota Oil Revenue May Lead to Free College Tuition

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 02:25 PM

North Dakota's oil drilling boom is financing millions of dollars in improvements at the state's colleges, and it may be time to use some of money to save students and their parents some of the tuition costs as well, said University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley Tuesday.

There are six major projects going on at the state university, at a cost of a quarter billion dollars, reports KVLY-TV  in Fargo, including a $125 million medical school, an addition to the university law school, a high-performance sports center and more, thanks to the oil revenue that is pouring in.

Kelley said the state of Wyoming has gone after oil revenue to help assist with student tuition, and "perhaps that will come up in our legislative session. We have some leadership from other states in these areas and it might be the right time for North Dakota."

But even without free tuition, North Dakota's colleges have proven popular for students from both in and out of state for years, as the state has a history of spending well on its 11 public colleges, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In addition, many students are attracted because of the low price of tuition. UND and North Dakota State University's tuition and fees run at around $17,000 a year for non-resident students, or about half of what non-resident students pay for public college educations elsewhere or less than some in-state rates are in other places.

However, The Wall Street Journal reports, most non-residents pay even less than that, as the state is in consortiums with 20 other states that charge other students no more than 1.5 times than what in-state rates cost.

The colleges can charge less because of oil revenues, which have added to the colleges budgets, even if the money does not go to erasing students' tuition bills, The Journal reports.

As a result, NDSU had more students from neighboring Minnesota in 2013 than from North Dakota itself, reports The Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota.

Enrollment data from fall 2013 shows that 45 percent of the college's 14,600 students were from Minnesota, and 35 percent were from North Dakota because of the lower tuition, and free tuition could attract even more students.

The deal may work out well for North Dakota's cities as well, The Post-Bulletin reports, as cities in that part of the country are facing a worker shortage.



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North Dakota's oil drilling boom is financing millions of dollars in improvements at the state's colleges, and it may be time to use some of money to save students and their parents some of the tuition costs as well, said University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley.
North Dakota, oil revenue, free tuition, University of North Dakota
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2014-25-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 02:25 PM
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