by Geoff Larcom, Published June 19, 2012
For the fourth consecutive year, Eastern Michigan University's Board of Regents has taken a statewide leadership position in keeping higher education affordable for Michigan students and their families while still focusing on the strengths and growth of the institution.
The Board of Regents today approved a tuition and mandatory fees increase of 3.95 percent for fall 2012 as part of the 2013 fiscal year budget. The increase in resident undergraduate tuition amounts to $9.75 per credit hour, or $343 for a student taking the standard full academic load of 30 credits per year. The annual cost for an undergraduate resident student taking 30 credits a year will be $9,026.
"Our focus remains on investing in our students, in academic quality, and in maintaining and improving facilities that help educate our students," said Roy Wilbanks, chair of the EMU Board of Regents. "Our diligent efforts at fiscal stewardship and cost containment have enabled Eastern to set a national standard for tuition restraint in recent years while still continuing to invest in facilities and programs that help EMU students succeed in today's economy."
Eastern's $290.6 million budget for fiscal 2013 reflects a $2 million increase in University-sponsored financial aid. Over the last five years, Eastern's financial aid has grown by more than 65 percent, from $21.4 million in 2007-08 to $35.7 million in 2012-13. Eastern remains strongly committed to helping students and their families cope with the costs of attending college.
The new budget also includes $1.5 million in funding for new academic programs and initiatives to support continued enrollment growth. Revenues include $209.6 million in tuition and fees, a $66.5 million state appropriation, comprised of a $64.6 million base appropriation (same as last year) and $1.9 million in one-time, merit-based state funding, plus $14.5 million in other revenues. The budget also includes a 1 percent increase in student credit hours. Individual elective fees will increase on a weighted average by the same 3.95 percent as tuition. No layoffs are planned under this budget.
"This budget seeks to limit costs to students while providing an excellent education," said Eastern President Susan Martin. "Eastern is increasing financial aid 5.9 percent to $35.7 million, funding a new College of Arts and Sciences advising center, improvements in classroom technology and investing in exciting new academic programs in high demand fields such as physician assistant."
For the past three years, Eastern's tuition and fee increases have been 3.8 percent, 0 percent and 3.65 percent. Including this year's 3.95 percent, Eastern's four-year increase is only 2.86 percent, or just $32 more per credit hour than four years ago. With the approved increase for fiscal year 2012-13, it is expected that Eastern will remain Michigan's leader in tuition restraint, with the smallest increase over the four-year period of any of Michigan's public universities. Eastern has maintained this level of affordability during the most significant shift in state funding for higher education in Michigan's history, which included last year's reduction of 15 percent.
Even during its period of significant tuition restraint, Eastern Michigan has continued to reinvest in academics and facilities. The university's $210 million, five-year capital plan includes this fall's scheduled completion of the next phase of the $90-million, self-funded Science Complex, which is the complete reopening of Jefferson Hall. Other major projects include renovation of Best Residence Hall, plus improvements to campus wireless capability, classroom technology, IT infrastructure and parking.