by Geoff Larcom, Published October 20, 2009
YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University will offer more than $30.4 million in financial aid in the next academic year, increasing the amount of scholarships, awards and grants given to students.
“The increase in financial aid signifies our continued commitment to students, along with our awareness of the challenge of paying for college today,” said EMU President Sue Martin. “The increase is a key aspect of next year’s budget, and is at the center of our mission to serve our students.”
Martin also cited EMU’s tuition increase of 3.8 percent this fall, the lowest percentage increase of any of Michigan’s 15 public universities.
Bernice Lindke, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, noted the aid increase is part of a trend at EMU. “In just three years, the University has increased student financial aid by almost $9 million, or 42 percent,” she said.
Next year’s increase represents a jump of more than $4.8 million, or 19 percent, from this year’s originally approved budgeted total of more than $25.5 million in aid, and an increase of more than $1.4 million, or 5 percent, from this year’s forecasted actual total of nearly $29 million in financial aid.
This year’s financial aid total was revised upward by about $3.4 million because of EMU’s increase in enrollment. New and returning student enrollment for fall 2009 increased by 933 students over last year, a rise of more than 4 percent. EMU bestowed 698 more academic achievement awards than the previous year, along with 455 more need-based awards.
This year, the additional funding is helping to meet the increased number of new and returning students qualifying for academic scholarships, along with assisting the increased number of students applying for need-based aid and appealing for additional funding because of a job loss. Those trends are expected to continue next year.
The breakdown of the financial aid for 2010-2011 is as follows: scholarships, awards and grants, $18.1 million; athletic grants-in-aid, $7 million; federal and state matches, $772,000 and more than $4.4 million in graduate student aid.
The EMU Board of Regents approved the increase at its meeting Tuesday.