Mich. universities set 2010-11 tuition; MSU 3rd highest
Fourteen of Michigan’s 15 public universities have set their tuition rates for the 2010-11 academic year, and MSU has not budged from its third-highest yearly tuition spot.
With an increase of 2.5 percent from the 2009-10 academic year, MSU’s estimated tuition for an undergraduate student taking 15 credits during the 2010-2011 school year is about $11,204. That rate is several hundred dollars less than the tuition of the University of Michigan, which increased 1.5 percent to $11,837, and Michigan Technological University, which increased 5.9 percent to $12,017.
The state’s public universities with the highest enrollment — which include MSU, U-M, Wayne State University, Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University, respectively — have managed to keep tuition increases low.
Despite ranking high in tuition and fees, MSU has the fourth-lowest tuition increase of the state’s largest universities by enrollment. The universities that approved rate increases lower than MSU are CMU at 2.06 percent, U-M, and Eastern Michigan University at zero percent.
Western Michigan University, the state’s sixth largest university by enrollment, has not set its tuition for the coming school year.
2010-11 tuition rates*
1. Michigan Technological University, $12,017
2. University of Michigan, $11,837
3. MSU, $11,205
4. Central Michigan University, $10,380
5. Ferris State University, $9,930
6. U-M Dearborn, $9,455
7. Grand Valley State University, $9,088
8. Wayne State University, $9,025
9. Lake Superior State University, $8,764
10. Oakland University, $8,610**
11. U-M Flint, $8,601
12. Western Michigan University, $8,382 any 2010 increase
13. Eastern Michigan University, $8,377
14. Northern Michigan University, $7,672
15. Saginaw Valley State University, $7,307
* Based on 30 credit hours using information gathered from each university’s website.
** No per credit hour rate available available on website.
Source: Universities’ websites
MSU Trustee Donald Nugent said although it was important to make MSU available to qualified students, it also was important for the school to maintain its standard.
“We may look at what other schools are doing,” Nugent said. “But we try keep the tuition as low as we can while still providing the quality MSU students expect and deserve.”
State appropriations and tuition are the two main sources of income for universities, but the amount of state funding has been decreasing for decades.
Thirty years ago, MSU’s budget consisted of 75 percent state appropriations and 25 percent tuition, said Michael A. Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council of State Universities of Michigan.
Currently, the state pays for one-third of an MSU student’s tuition, and there is no sign of a reverse in the trend anytime soon, Boulus said.
The state House and Senate have diverged in their recommendations for 2010-11 higher education appropriations. The Senate recommended a 3.1 percent decrease in funding, while the House voted to keep funding at its 2009-10 levels.
MSU has received about $291.8 million in year-to-date appropriations from the state.The legislative bodies have yet to reconcile the differences in their recommendations, and colleges are planning for a decrease in appropriations, Boulus said.
Michigan already ranks last in the country in higher appropriations funding, and more decreases to funding are likely, Boulus said.
“(Michigan’s) looking at a billion-dollar deficit for next year,” Boulus said.
MSU has found various ways to cut back — including faculty foregoing one year’s salary increase — and other universities are adopting similar measures. Wayne State and CMU have instated a freeze of their faculty’s salaries, and Wayne State also has delayed hiring and creating new positions.
Universities also are reducing costs through their utility bills. Nugent said the university already has lower power costs than other schools.
“If you look at power, it’s far less than any other university,” Nugent said. “It allows us to shave our costs down heating buildings and generating electricity, and at the same time to run buildings as large and as complete as our power system.”
EMU, which announced in April it would not increase tuition or room and board in 2010-11, attributed the lack of an increase to careful spending and investing in energy-saving technology. The technology so far has saved the university $2 million, said Walter Kraft, EMU’s vice president for communications.
“We know that students and families across the state are facing great hardship in being able to afford higher education,” Kraft said.
Reducing utility costs is a strategy also being used by Ferris State University and Grand Valley, according to officials at the universities.
As appropriations continue to decline, universities are looking for other sources of revenue apart from students and appropriations.
Denise Ilitch, a member of the U-M Board of Regents, voted against the university’s 1.5 percent increase in June, and said other methods of funding should be found.
“It’s becoming extremely difficult to pass these costs on to students and working families,” Ilitch said.
“I think it’s critical that higher education look at other ways, innovative ways, with which to create revenue and control costs.”