Port: With its free tuition program, Minnesota has given North Dakota the gift of opportunity


Minot, N.D. — When Minnesota launched a new program providing free tuition at state campuses for students from lower-income households, and when North Dakota’s higher education officials reacted with alarm, some saw it as an opportunity to dunk on the Peace Garden State.

If only North Dakota’s leaders were as progressive and enlightened as Minnesota’s!

Minnesota didn’t implement this program to stick it to North Dakota.

Per data presented to Minnesota lawmakers during their most recent session, full-time equivalent enrollment in their state “declined by 27.9% between fiscal years 2013 and 2022.”

That is an ugly number, even in the context of national enrollment declines, and it’s a lot bigger than what we’ve seen west of the Red River. In that same time period, FTE enrollment in the North Dakota University System declined 11.9%.

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