Tuition at Minnesota’s public colleges would be free to residents whose families earn less than $80,000 annually, starting in the 2024-2025 academic year, under an agreement reached by legislative negotiators.
If the full House and Senate accept the language, which would be part of of a broader higher education budget bill, qualifying Minnesotans would no longer have to take on debt to get a public college degree.
The “North Star Promise” free tuition program would cost about $117 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, including startup costs.
After that, it would cost about $49.5 million annually, according to the agreement reached Monday night.
Qualifying students would have to attend a two- or four-year school in either the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State systems, or a tribal college. Private college tuition would not be covered.