September 25-26, 2003 


ITEM 120-2854-R0903 �������������� Authorization to Offer Online Courses to Non-resident Students at 200% of Resident Tuition; Montana State University�Great Falls College of Technology


THAT:�������������������������������������� The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorize Montana State University�Great Falls College of Technology to offer on-line courses to non-resident students at 200% of resident tuition rates.


EXPLANATION:����������������������� Montana State University�Great Falls College of Technology has excess capacity in a number of its online course and program offerings. In order to utilize these courses at capacity or closer to capacity, MSU would like to price these courses to non-resident students at a rate that can attract students from outside Montana.  This could be done while maintaining access for Montana students.                       


At the MSU-Great Falls College of Technology on-line enrollments have grown steadily and now represent about 20% of the FTE production.� Nonetheless, as the appended plan demonstrates, excess capacity does exist.�


Online offerings may present the best opportunity for the Great Falls campus to reverse its historic inability to attract non-resident students and enjoy the benefits that non-resident tuition revenues can bring to a campus.  National interest in the College�s offerings, particularly in the health care programs, has been demonstrated in the past, but non-resident tuition has been a deterrent.  


Additionally, the return on the campus�s investment in online and distance offerings is a key component in strategies for long-term sustainability.  In Great Falls, for instance, online courses and programs provide the best alternative for meeting local students� needs in the COT�s space-constrained environment; adding non-resident students ensures that these courses have enrollments sufficient to offer them.


At its July 2003 meeting, the Board of Regents authorized the setting of non-resident tuition for on-line courses at no less than 150% of the resident tuition rate and requested a plan similar to that provided by MSU-Billings at the May 2003 to accompany any future requests.� That plan is provided in the appended document.�