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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published April 12 2012

Audit impact hurts DSU recruiting

WILLISTON, N.D. – The president of Dickinson State University says the school is losing potential students every day while its out-of-state tuition rate remains undecided.

President DC Coston came to the state Board of Higher Education on Thursday seeking approval for a new tuition rate for out-of-state students after an audit recommended policy changes.

Not knowing the tuition rate is creating problems for recruiting athletes and other students, Coston said.

“We are in a crisis moment,” he told board members.

Coston asked members to approve a tuition structure that would charge out-of-state students 150 percent of the in-state tuition rate.

The new rate would not apply to students who live in states that neighbor North Dakota or others that have special tuition agreements.

Board members said they

didn’t have enough information to make a decision Thursday. However, Board President Grant Shaft said they recognize the urgency and may call a special meeting to expedite a decision.

Coston said university officials were holding off on setting the tuition rates while the recent investigation by the State Auditor’s Office was pending.

Among the audit’s findings were that nearly all nonresident students were receiving full or partial tuition waivers on the nonresident rate. Rather than amassing the paperwork and compliance costs associated with those waivers, the audit recommended the university simply lower nonresident tuition to a rate it actually intends to collect.

The audit also said Dickinson State needs to tighten its tuition and scholarship practices, improve its handling of funds, and foster better internal communication. The university has said it already has addressed many of the issues cited and is in the process of addressing the rest.


Forum reporter Marino Eccher

contributed to this report.

Dalrymple is a Forum Communications Co. reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at adalrymple@forumcomm.com or (701) 580-6890.


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