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Tuition Freeze is Thawing Out at MCAD

Tuition Freeze is Thawing Out at MCAD

You may remember that last year I wrote an article about how the Minneapolis College of Art and Design was implementing a tuition freeze for the first time in a number of years. President Jay Coogan stated that the tuition freeze would only be for a year and that a minimal increase was probable for the subsequent year.  Keeping true to his word, President Coogan just announced a tuition increase for the 2011-2012 academic year. One of our readers recently sent me a copy of the letter emailed to MCAD families this last week. You can read it in entirety below.

In response to the letter, I think that a 3% increase in tuition is pretty good given the double digit increases that we see popping up across the nation. I also like how they directly associated their increase to that of inflation for the past couple of years (1.5% each year).  Not many schools are quick to compare their tuition increases to the rate of inflation (probably because they exceed it every year). So, I give credit to Coogan and MCAD for their comparative analogy.

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If you (or your student) go to a college or University that experienced a tuition increase (or decrease) that was historically significant, please don’t hesitate to pass the announcement letter or video onto me to share with our readers at It could be great exposure for your college and it also helps to keep our readers in the loop of what is happening with tuition expenses in higher education.

MCAD Tuition Increase Letter

To all students:

I am writing to let you know that the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design has set tuition for 2011-12 academic year at $30,385; this is a 3% increase over the current year’s tuition of $29,500.

Over the past several years MCAD’s tuition increases have been among the lowest of art and design schools and private colleges in the country. Last year the Board took the unprecedented step of holding the tuition level from the previous year. When averaged out over two academic years, the 3% increase amounts to an annual increase of 1.5%; this is comparable with the nation’s overall rate of inflation.

In setting the amount for next year’s tuition we have kept two key objectives in mind:

1.     Keeping the increase as modest as possible so as to minimize the impact on MCAD students and families.

2.     Continuing to invest in the resources that help us maintain a high quality education. We believe this investment ensures the best possible programs and facilities to support our educational programs.

Members of the MCAD Board and I all understand the cost of attending a private art college creates a financial challenge for you and your families. Many of us faced similar challenges in attending college and all of us respect the sacrifices required. In order to help, MCAD is adding an additional $167,000 of institutional financial aid for the coming academic year.

Like all colleges, MCAD depends on fundraising to meet the financial needs of it students. The college has initiated the Students First Scholarship Challenge to provide currently enrolled students with additional financial aid. We are close to meeting this year’s goal of raising $100,000 from alumni, parents, and other donors in new and increased gifts—which will be matched by the Board for a total of $200,000 in increased scholarship funds. We hope to raise a similar amount of new funds this coming year.

MCAD is a place where creativity meets purpose. We are committed to spending your tuition dollars wisely in order to provide you with the best possible art and design education and help you achieve your goals as you transform your creative passions into meaningful careers and work in the world.


Jay Coogan


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Tuition Freeze for Minneapolis College

Tuition Freeze for Minneapolis College

mcadThe Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) has responded to the needs of its families and students by not incorporating an increase in their tuition and fees for the coming academic year.

The tuition rate at MCAD is currently set at $29,500 a year and students can expect to experience this same tuition rate next year. A minimal increase of 2.5% is scheduled for housing costs and the general fees will remain the same for next year. The total cost of attendance (Room, Board, Tuition, and Fees) will be about $41,000. Complimenting the tuition freeze,MCAD has stated that they will also increase their amount of financial aid awarded to students by 4%. It is not clear whether this increase in aid will be for incoming students, returning students, or a blend of all the students receiving financial assistance.

President Jay Coogan states that that tuition freeze will only be for a year and it may be followed by a moderate tuition increase in the year following. However, he vows that the percentage increase in subsequent years will not be something drastic to make up for the lack of increase this coming year.

Whether MCAD is making this financial gesture to boost enrollment in a declining educational market or they truly are looking out for the best interest of their students is uncertain. The bottom line is that they are embracing this tuition freeze and ultimate economic benefit of this decision will instantly go to the students. Any goodwill and increase in enrollment will be a potential bi-product down the road for MCAD. Kudos to MCAD for helping their students to make college affordable!

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