MSU board adopts budget guidelines, sets tuition

Posted at 8:52 AM, Jun 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 08:52:19-04

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees adopted budget guidelines for the 2016-17 academic year that will ensure the university maintains its status as one of the world’s top 100 universities and continues to provide students with a globally competitive education.

The spending plan calls for a tuition increase of 3.7 percent for in-state, lower division (freshmen and sophomores), undergraduate students. In-state, upper division undergraduates (juniors and seniors) will see an increase of 3.9 percent.

The budget guidelines cover the university general fund, AgBioResearch, Extension and intercollegiate athletics, authorizing expenditures totaling $1.53 billion.

The board’s tuition adjustment comes as state financial support for higher education again failed to reach the level of 2011, when the governor and legislature made steep cuts.

Some $1 billion in institutional and student aid cuts have been absorbed by Michigan’s 15 public universities since 2002, according to the House Fiscal Agency. If funding for higher education had kept pace with the national average, appropriations to MSU would be approximately $88 million higher today.

“It is disappointing that the state continues shifting responsibility for supporting public higher education to students and their families,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “Although MSU has managed to continue to improve our student success metrics, it is concerning that the state seems willing to allow Michigan’s world-class intellectual infrastructure to go the way of its crumbling transportation assets.”

Under the budget, in-state, lower-division students will pay $16.75 more per credit hour. In-state, upper-division students in most MSU colleges will see an increase of $19.75 per credit hour.

Overall, resident, lower-division students taking a full load of courses – 30 credits hours per academic year – would pay about $14,092.50, while most upper-division students would pay $15,682.

Graduate students’ tuition in most MSU colleges will increase by 4 percent. In-state graduate students will see an increase of $26.75 per credit hour, nonresidents an increase of $52.75 per credit hour.

As in past years, a portion of the 2016-17 spending plan is earmarked for faculty salary increases. The plan calls for a 2.5 percent general salary increase for faculty and non-unionized staff based on merit.

To help preserve MSU’s commitment to access, financial aid will increase by $5.7 million, or approximately 4.5 percent.

Other 2016-17 budget highlights include:

Thanks to increased efficiency and a move from coal to natural gas at the T.B. Simon Power Plant, the university experienced a decrease in utility costs of $3.4 million, or 5.5 percent.
$5 million funding for various initiatives, including information technology, student success analytics, campus Wi-Fi improvements and other technology-based projects.
Stipend ranges for graduate assistants holding research or administrative appointments will be increased 3 percent.
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Source: MSU Today