May 23-24, 2002

 

ITEM 115-1502-RO502              Approval of Proposal to Offer Access to Non-residents in Programs with Excess Capacity and All Canadians at a Rate of 150% of Resident Tuition; Montana Tech of The University of Montana

 

THAT:                                     The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana Tech of The University of Montana to offer access to non-residents in programs with excess capacity and all Canadians at a rate of 150% of resident tuition.  The success of the excess capacity non-resident tuition program will be reviewed formally every other year beginning FY 04.

 

EXPLANATION:                       The unique specialty degree areas offered by Montana Tech of The University of Montana are laboratory intensive instruction.  These programs typically support a student to faculty ratio of 25 to 1.  This ratio is driven by laboratory facilities and student access.  Adding students to a program within the capacity of the existing faculty and laboratory resources leads only to costs of instruction in the credits outside of their degree area.

 

An analysis of the curriculum of degrees offered at Montana Tech indicates that on the average 40% of credits required to earn the degree are core courses offered by the major department, while 60% of the total credits are campus service courses.  If a program has excess capacity, students can be added to that program without additional costs in faculty resources.  Of the remaining 60% of the cost, 25 new students are required before an impact on campus service offerings is realized.  This results in a true requirement of full cost at 50% of the degree.  It is therefore proposed that these strategic applicants be offered the tuition rate of 150% of the resident tuition.

 

Cost/Benefit Analysis:

Resident Tuition/Fees (FY2003)               $            2,984

Non-Resident Tuition (FY2003)                 $          10,312

                                              150% Tuition (FY2003)                             $            4,477

 

Preliminary analysis of the Fall 2001 enrollment, number of faculty, average faculty/student ratio in degree, and service load by program indicates an excess capacity of 353.5 students over 10 degree areas.  At $4,477 per student revenue, this is equivalent to an increase in total revenue for the campus of $1,582,600 available to manage the institution if all excess capacity students were recruited under this program.  For each group of 25 additional students, there would be $111,900 available for meeting the additional needs in service capacity.  Sixty-five percent (65%) of those funds or $72,750 would be expended in direct support of instruction.  This is more than adequate to meet the need.  Note that the service component of the individual programs is offered by the department with the specialty (i.e., Geophysical Engineering serves the Physics instruction for the entire institution) and where possible existing resources will be fully utilized.

 

The focus of Montana Tech of The University of Montana is maintaining the high quality and rigor of programs.  This excess capacity program will enable recruitment of students with high academic achievement who are likely to succeed in the degree areas.  The program will be used to strategically recruit students with focused marketing.  The qualifications in place for the award of scholarships will be used to determine eligibility.  Identification of excess capacity programs with supporting documents will be supplied at the May 2002 Board of Regents Meeting.