University of Minnesota to freeze tuition next academic year

New University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel listens during her first Board of Regents meeting at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis on July 11. John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press

The University of Minnesota system will be implementing a tuition freeze for a majority of its students in the fall in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal, which was brought forth by University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, was approved during a special Board of Regents meeting Tuesday, April 21.

“The unpredictability of the pandemic and the challenges we face as a leading research, teaching and outreach institution make this a critical moment in the university’s nearly 170-year history. Difficult decisions lie ahead, but so do strategic opportunities,” Board Chair Ken Powell said in a statement.

This tuition freeze includes all new and returning students systemwide with the exception of those in the medical school, dentistry and three professional masters degrees in the College of Science and Engineering on the Twin Cities campus. Those exemptions are based on strong demand, national ranking and market comparisons, according to the document packet for the meeting.

Gabel said she intends to recommend a balanced operating budget, based on a scenario in which the university returns to regular operations, including in-person classroom instruction, by the start of the fall semester, according to a news release. The proposed budget would be the base from which contingency plans are developed in case the university needs to extend reduced operations beyond the start of the fall semester.


Gabel said the system wanted to make decisions “based first and foremost on the safety, health and wellness of our university family” during the pandemic, noting the COVID-19 pandemic has presented short- and long-term institutional challenges.

“We know we will face more decisions, many of them quite significant. With the Board’s approval today, our recommendations and actions will be shaped by distinct guiding principles to ensure the university emerges well from our COVID-19 response and recovery,” Gabel said in a statement.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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