by Geoff Larcom, Published October 19, 2010
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University will offer more than $33.7 million in financial aid in the next academic year, increasing the amount of scholarships, awards and grants given to students.
The total represents an increase of more than $3.3 million, or 11 percent, over this year's budgeted financial aid total of $30.4 million.
The EMU Board of Regents approved the increase at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 19.
Since the 2007-08 academic year, Eastern has increased financial aid by more than $12 million, an increase of about 57 percent.
"This significant increase in financial aid signals our awareness of the challenges students face in paying for college today, " said Eastern Michigan President Susan Martin. "Helping students attend college and earn that degree to support a family in Michigan remains our core mission."
Total student enrollment for the Fall 2010 term increased by 644 students and 1,577 over the past two years, a rise of 7 percent. That growth was realized with new transfer students and an increased number of returning students. Many of those students qualified for scholarships and need-based aid for the first time, while many continuing students maintained their financial awards.
Bernice Lindke, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, said the increase underscores Eastern's continued powerful investment in the education of its students.
"It also reflects a strong commitment in aid to recruit more transfer students and students who reside outside of our historical recruitment area," Lindke said.
The breakdown of financial aid for 2011-12 is as follows: scholarships, awards and grants, nearly $21 million; athletic grants in aid, $6.9 million, required federal and state matches, $1 million; and graduate student aid, nearly $4.8 million.
Total academic and service-based scholarships and awards were increased by more than $2.8 million, or about 15 percent, while athletics awards remained nearly the same, decreasing by $61,000. Total men's athletic awards are $2.6 million, and total women's awards are $2.3 million.