U-M holds tuition flat for most students after financial aid increased

The University of Michigan Board of Regents and executive officers meet on Thursday, June 16 in Ann Arbor.
The University of Michigan Board of Regents and executive officers meet on Thursday, June 16 in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan will once again offset a tuition increase with an increase in financial aid, meaning in-state students with financial need will not see a tuition increase for the coming school year.

The school's Board of Regents approved a budget Thursday setting a 3.4% tuition increase for in-state students, or $558 per year. For out-of-state students, they approved a 3.9% increase, or $2,102. The board also approved an increase to financial aid by 6.5%. That means in-state students showing financial need won't see an increase in net tuition next year, school officials said.

The eight-member board's decision brings the average tuition cost for first-year, in-state students to  $16,736 and  $55,334 for first-year, out-of-state students.

That didn't mollify Regent Denise Ilitch, who said U-M needs to do better on holding down tuition, noting the school has increased tuition every year for the past 38 years. She was the lone no vote on the budget.

“We've been told over and over this business model is unsustainable,” she said.

Ilitch called for new revenue sources to be investigated to fund tuition; for U-M to identify more efficiencies at every level; for the university to contain costs by centralizing more functions; for university officials to conduct a review of its core mission and to shed cash drains that are ancillary to the mission; and for university officials to conduct a full review of the highest-costs areas. 

“Let's choose change before change chooses us,” she added. 

About 25% of the Ann Arbor's school in-state students will pay no tuition, school officials said.

The budget also includes money to increase the minimum wage for all temporary and student employees to $15 per hour, matching moves made last year for other staff. U-M Flint and U-M Dearborn are making similar moves.

“This change will assure that all employees, including students and temporary staff, are compensated in a manner consistent with institutional values, regardless of how many hours they work for the university,” school officials said in their memo about the budget to the board.

Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @reporterdavidj. Subscribe to the Detroit Free Press.

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