EMU Sets 3.95 Percent Tuition Increase

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Eastern Michigan University. (Wikimedia Commons)

Eastern Michigan University. (Wikimedia Commons)

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YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University’s Board of Regents Tuesday 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.

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 rate of 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 cuts in funding for higher education from Lansing, including 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 has targeted $8.5 million for the $90 million, self-funded Science Complex. The next phase, the reopening of Jefferson Hall, is set to be completed on budget and on schedule for Fall 2012.

Recommended major projects in the new capital budget and their costs include: Best Residence Hall renovations, $2 million; IT infrastructure, $1.9 million; classroom technology, $1 million; campus wireless, $0.9 million; parking related projects, $0.9 million; athletic facility projects, $0.9 million; Warner Building renovations, $0.6 million; McKenny Hall renovations, $0.6 million; and energy savings, $0.4 million.

Regents also approved a measure offering out-of-state EMU alumni and their children in-state tuition rates. The “Come Home to Eastern – Come Home to Michigan Award” is designed to welcome home Eastern alumni and their children (including step or adopted children) by providing a tuition differential award for the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

EMU regents also approved a new academic program — a master of science in physician assistant studies — at the meeting. The two-year professional program will emphasize basic medicine and clinical methods and prepare graduates for certification and licensure to practice as extenders to practicing physicians.

The board also approved the phase-out of five existing degree programs effective fall 2012, as part of EMU’s program sustainability review process. Programs to be phased out due to limited participation are the secondary education computer science major, the graduate certificate in artificial intelligence, the master of arts in mathematics – computer science, the master of arts in science in physical education pedagogy – interdisciplinary adapted physical education concentration, and the master of arts in sociology – family specialty concentration.

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