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Tuition at Ridgewater could go up 3 percent over last year's annual cost of just under $4,100

WILLMAR -- Tuition could go up $123 this fall for students attending Ridgewater College in Willmar and Hutchinson.

That represents a 3 percent increase over last year's annual tuition rate of $4,093.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick is recommending a budget that would hold tuition increases to an average of $114 for undergraduate students at two-year colleges.

Students attending state universities will see an average increase of $169 for the 2009-10 academic year.

Federal stimulus funding directed to higher education will help keep tuition from increasing even higher.

Each Ridgewater student will benefit from a one-time $87 discount for the coming school year.

"We are grateful that the stimulus money helps us hold down the increase for this fall," said McCormick. "In these uncertain economic times, many students and their families are challenged to make ends meet. But we also know higher education is key to retraining laid-off workers and preparing students to succeed in today's global marketplace."

The 3 percent increase proposed for Ridgewater is "pretty standard from what they've been in the past," said Sam Bowen, director of communications and marketing at Ridgewater. He said Ridgewater has worked hard to keep tuition increases "as small as possible" to be fair to students and yet provide necessary services.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget and recommended tuition increases on June 17. The trustees aren't expected to act on the proposed budget until their July board meeting.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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