Minnesota makes North Dakota sad

I’m sorry (not sorry). Minnesota’s new progressive surge might actually hurt universities in regressive states. We just passed some significant laws to help Minnesota students.

Minnesota this year passed the North Star Promise scholarship program, which will pay college tuition and fees for in-state residents whose families earn $80,000 a year or less. The program, set to launch in the fall of 2024, is projected to cost $117 million and would help about 15,000 to 20,000 students, according to the state’s office of higher education.

Wow, I wish we’d had that when my kids were going to college — I would have qualified, and it would have been a big help. Better late then never, though, and I’m happy to see a new generation benefit. The state to our West is not happy about it, though.

Minnesota’s ambitious plan to give lower-income residents free college has created a “crisis” in neighboring North Dakota, where higher education officials worry about a drop in enrollment from Minnesota students who can get a better deal at home.

North Dakota college leaders spoke at a meeting this week of the State Board of Higher Education, whose members brainstormed ways to prevent a flood of Minnesota students leaving North Dakota schools.

“This has catastrophic implications. This is a very serious situation for us,” David Cook, president of North Dakota State University, said at the meeting.

But why should North Dakota care about a benefit given to Minnesota residents? I was surprised to learn this:

More than half of North Dakota State University’s incoming class, and 45% of its undergraduate student body, consists of students from Minnesota, according to estimates presented at the meeting. Minnesota natives make up 24% undergraduates at North Dakota State College of Science, and 28% at the University of North Dakota.

NDSU and UND are both right on the state border — you can live in Minnesota and easily commute to either of those schools. There’s nothing wrong with those universities, and I can see how they might panic at the thought of a quarter to half their students suddenly transferring out. We’re all suffering with the effects of the pandemic, I sympathize with any university taking an additional hit.

It’s easily fixed, though. Just pass some progressive legislation in your legislature, Dakotans, and give students free tuition and spend money to improve your schools. Oh, your legislature is packed with Republicans, and your governor is a Trumpian entrepreneur who seems to be distracted by a futile attempt at a presidential run?

I am so sorry! Sincerely. You are so screwed.


  1. Snarki, child of Loki says

    If MN was a bit richer and trollish, they could give scholarships to “MN residents in ND colleges, enrolled in GENDER STUDIES and CRITICAL RACE THEORY programs”

    Entrepreneurial colleges would make stand up some attractive programs, just to take advantage of that. Wingnuts would just howl about how mean and unfair it is. Win-win!

  2. says

    Our best young people leave as soon as they can earn the price of a bus ticket. They contribute the best part of their characters to other communities because they’re stifled in Peyton Place.

  3. wzrd1 says

    Naw, their answer will be to double tuition fees on their schools.
    Then piss and moan about low application rates, obviously they should ban another state from the union or something.

  4. raven says

    It is not uncommon for public Universities in border areas to allow nearby out of state students to be classified as in-state.
    They do this to keep their enrollments up, something that is becoming difficult these days.

    Get the Eastern Edge!
    Eastern Oregon University https://www.eou.edu › about › the-eastern-edge

    Students from Oregon, Washington and Idaho receive in-state tuition at EOU! Western Undergraduate Exchange Tuition. WUE Students receive a reduced non-resident …

    Eastern Oregon University is in La Grande, Oregon. La Grande is in the Blue Mountains in the northeast of the state and basically, in the middle of nowhere.

    They are a lot closer to Washington and Idaho population centers than any large cities in Oregon. Since they draw students from their geographical area, they classify Washington and Idaho students as in-state for tuition.

    “EOU offers in-state rates to all Native American students”
    They also do this for all Native American students.
    They aren’t too far (in rural western US terms) from a lot of Native American reservations.

  5. hillaryrettig1 says

    Based on the Kalamazoo Promise! https://www.kalamazoopromise.com/

    Along with helping kids go to college, it’s had a huge revitalizing effect on our town, stabilizing property values, etc. People selling their homes emphasize if they are in town, thus qualifying for the Promise.

  6. outis says

    Reality bites. If they do their best to enshittify their own place, then it’s no wonder people leave if they can.
    It’s a general rule. An European example: managing a business in Italy is very difficult, owing to stupid levels of bureaucracy and infinite layers of inconsistent rules, you could think it’s done on purpose. Well then, in Austria the relevant legislation is much lighter and logical, so many enterprises close to the border simply up sticks and go there. There’s even an Austrian state office charged with promoting and assisting the transfer.
    Being stupid is expensive.

  7. antigone10 says

    Sucks to suck ND.

    I went to UND. I left UND the second the piece of paper crossed my hot little hand and moved to “goddless* muderapolis**”. I’m bi (among many other identities), you made it very clear you didn’t want me there.

    *If we’re so godless, wth are there all these churches, mosques, community centers, temples, and synagogues, ashrams, and other sundry religious buildings? We’re not goddless here, we’re godawful.
    **Yep, so scary. Our murder rate is so high one can’t even here oneself for all the bullets and such. Please stay away. Much better for you to watch sportsball on tv. Absolutely. Pray for us. No, no, don’t come see the shows, you wouldn’t like them. The restaurants? No, better stay at Applebees out there; you might see a homeless person here. Better to just send money to us poor, poor city folk- how about Project Out Loud? That’s for homeless people, so you won’t have to see them. The concerts and orchestras and operas? Oh, sometimes they have drug use and naughty language, we’re so debased that we can handle it but you should avoid the appearance of evil. Best stay away. The festivals? Oh man, they’re a blast… I mean, so, so many people. And a lot of the festivals have stuff in other languages, they might be talking about you! Yep, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a job here doing interesting work that actually helps people that pays me enough to just barely live on I would never, ever live here in the scary, totally dangerous place. Wasn’t at all dangerous for me to live in a place where the neighbors hated me.

  8. anthrosciguy says

    It’s common around the world for the neighbors of matrilineal societies to complain that the matrilineal group has an unfair advantage (generally that many of the men are available to go places and do things, like trade or military or the arts, that benefit their group). They never seem to get the obvious solution to their complaint. I doubt the Dakotans will either.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Can someone please do something about the resurgence of flying saucer nuts? I thought the new generation was past it, but they are popping up even in Sweden. AAAARGH!

  10. AstroLad says

    Does UMM have a Department of Musical Pathology so the Minnesota students at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople can come home?

  11. justanotherguy says

    “There are two issues, … One is a kind of moral issue: do you vote against the greater evil if you don’t happen to like the other candidate? The answer to that is yes. If you have any moral understanding, you want to keep the greater evil out.”

    “Second is a factual question: how do Trump and Clinton compare? I think they’re very different. I didn’t like Clinton at all, but her positions are much better than Trump’s on every issue I can think of.”

    — Noam Chomsky, Nov. 25, 2016, saying Progressives should have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.