Eastern Michigan University increases financial aid and invests in academic programs while maintaining commitment to affordable education

by Geoff Larcom, Published June 10, 2014

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University increased financial aid and continued to invest in high-demand academic programs and public safety in adopting a general fund budget Tuesday for the coming academic year. The University also maintained its commitment to provide students with a high quality education at an affordable price.

The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved a $301.9 million general fund operating expenditure budget for fiscal 2015 at its regular meeting Tuesday. The budget reflects a $4.6 million increase, or 11.7 percent, in University-sponsored financial aid over the previous year. Over the last seven years, Eastern's financial aid has risen from $21.4 million in 2007-08 to $43.8 million in 2014-15.

"This budget represents our unwavering and strong support of student success,” said Eastern Michigan President Susan Martin. " We have doubled our University-sponsored financial aid over the last seven years, we remain focused in developing high-demand academic fields for our students, and we continue to be among the state leaders in tuition restraint.”

The budget includes funding for 36 new faculty hires in fall 2014. It also reflects funding for new academic programs, such as the new Physician Assistant Program, launched in May 2014 and housed mainly in the Rackham Building, as well as the continuation of enhanced public safety initiatives, including the addition of 10 police officers this year.

The Board of Regents Tuesday approved a tuition and mandatory fees increase of 3.2 percent for fall. The increase matches this year's state tuition restraint threshold of 3.2 percent, set earlier this month by the Michigan legislature for the state's 15 public universities. By setting its tuition at this rate, Eastern Michigan qualifies for additional state performance funding related to tuition restraint.

With today’s vote, Eastern has the lowest pure dollar increase in tuition over the last six years of any of the 15 public universities in the state. Eastern's tuition increases have averaged 3.1 percent over that time frame.

Dating back the last six years, Eastern's tuition and fee increases have been 3.75 percent, 3.95 percent, 3.65 percent, 0 percent and 3.82 percent. Including this year's 3.2 percent, Eastern has maintained such affordability during a significant shift in state funding for higher education, including a reduction of 15 percent in state support three years ago.

Next year’s increase in resident undergraduate tuition amounts to $10 per credit hour, or $299 for a student taking the standard full academic load of 30 credits per year. The annual cost for an undergraduate resident student taking a standard full load of 30 credits a year will be $9,663.

Revenues in the new budget include $219.8 million in tuition and fees, a $72.4 million state appropriation, comprised of a $67.3 million base appropriation and $5.1million in one-time, state performance and MPSERS funding; plus $10.4 million in other revenues such as investment income and facility rentals.

During the last six years, Eastern Michigan has undergone an unprecedented period of capital reinvestment in its academic and student-centered facilities.

Eastern's $220 million, five-year capital plan included the completion of Phase II of the $90-million, self-funded Science Complex in fall 2012. The capital improvement program has included academic facility enhancements, such as the renovation of the Rackham Building for the new Physician Assistant program, housing and dining renovations, and improvements in campus safety and security, IT infrastructure, classroom technology and athletic facilities.

The Board of Regents Tuesday also approved an auxiliary activities fund operating budget of $49.2 million for 2014-2015. The budget includes revenues and expenditures associated with EMU's dining services, residence halls, apartments and parking.

The auxiliary activities budget also reflects increased housing occupancy for fall 2014. It is expected that the number of students living on campus this fall in residence halls and University-owned apartments will exceed 4,100, the fourth consecutive year of increase at Eastern. This represents an increase in students housed of about 700, or 20 percent, compared with fall  2010.






Geoff Larcom



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