MSU to offer block tuition waivers for fall 2019, spring 2020 graduates
Michigan State will offer waivers to upcoming graduates as the university implements a flat-rate, or "block" tuition system beginning in fall 2019.
Block tuition is a model that requires undergraduate students taking between 12 and 18 credit hours to pay a flat rate for tuition, equal to that of 15 credits. Its implementation was unanimously approved by the MSU Board of Trustees and former Interim President John Engler at the June board meeting.
The waivers would allow students graduating in the coming year to continue paying tuition on a per-credit basis, according to a message sent to student email accounts through the Office of the Registrar Friday.
Access to the waivers will be guaranteed to those who apply to graduate in the fall, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis along with "institutional financial support" for those who apply to graduate in Spring 2020.
The waiver applies to students who were unable to adjust their schedule to accommodate block tuition — due to required course work or schedule limitations — or "have encountered a situation beyond their control in which flat rate tuition would create a significant negative impact on their student success or their cost of tuition," a recently-launched website containing information about the new tuition system said.
Last month, the academic committee in the Associated Students of MSU, or ASMSU, passed a bill regarding block tuition, asking the administration to implement the waivers to upperclassmen who may have planned their degrees out before the new tuition model was implemented.
ASMSU Representative Ben Horne is also part of a block tuition workgroup organized earlier this semester in effort to include student input in the implementation process. He said an ideal situation would have been to choose a date, and determine that from that date onward, all incoming students will be under block tuition.
"The case-by-case system will be weird and likely place a lot of administrative strain on whoever reviews the decisions, but it's better than nothing," Horne said via text message. "ASMSU also passed a resolution a few weeks back opposing the implementation of block tuition if waivers weren't extended through Spring 2021, and this doesn't change that."