Minnesota, Wisconsin strike deal to continue tuition reciprocity

Stateline Midwest Vol. 20, No. 9: September 2011

In 2009, about 25,000 Minnesotans took advantage of one of the five tuition-reciprocity deals the state has with neighboring jurisdictions. These agreements allow residents to attend out-of-state colleges at the rates of comparable home-state institutions. Keeping these additional college options open to students requires states to coordinate and cooperate with one another, and this year, Minnesota and Wisconsin were able to strike a deal that will allow their long-standing reciprocity program to continue.

Because not all comparable institutions in Minnesota and Wisconsin have the same prices, the two states have had to figure out how to make up that difference. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wisconsin students had been receiving a “supplement” from their home state to account for the cost variation between higher-priced Minnesota schools and lower-priced Wisconsin schools.

Under a change made this year in Wisconsin, and agreed to in August by Minnesota officials, that difference will be paid by Wisconsin students themselves. More than 14,000 Minnesota residents and 10,000 Wisconsin residents participate in the tuition program. Minnesota also has reciprocity deals with institutions in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and the province of Manitoba.