The Board of Trustees on Wednesday raised tuition by 3.7 percent for in-state undergraduates, according to 2016-2017 budget proposal. The increase remains under the state cap of 4.2 percent.
Lower division, freshmen and sophomores, will see a 3.7 percent increase. Cost per credit hour will go up $16.75 with a total of $468.75 per credit hour for the 2016-2017 year.
In-state upper, juniors and seniors will see an increase of 3.9 percent, per credit hour increases by $19.75.
In June 2015, the board voted to increase tuition by 2.7 percent.
The seventh consecutive tuition increase will see a lower division students with a full class load of 30 credits paying about $14,092.50, while upper division’s total will be about $15,682.
Out-of-state undergraduates students will see a tuition increase of 4.2 percent.
“Our students want value thats why they come here,” Simon said. “And parents know what it costs.”
Graduate students, cost will increase by $26.75 per credit hour. Council of Graduate Students, or COGS President Dee Jordan said she met about tuition in April.
“What I think this comes down to is a fundamentals misunderstand of higher education on behalf of our civic leaders,” Jordan said. “It’s time for students to advocate.”
The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, president Lorenzo Santavicca said, he has a question for the state legislature, “Why?”
“We talk about how we want to revitalize the economy here in Michigan,” Santavicca said. “It’s difficult to say that you want to see that happen when you keep cutting the higher education budget.”
Before passing the 2016-2017 budget, the board discussed their disdain for voting for the increase. State funding or lack thereof was discussed as one of the needs for the increase.
Simon said the state funding failed to reach the level of 2011 state appropriations of $140 million, due to state cuts.
Trustee Mitch Lyons compared the budgeting process as “squeezing blood from a turnip.”
“We have a value proposition, that value proposition calls for us to provide the best programming in the world,” said Assistant Vice President of Planning and Budgets David Byelich on the budget process.”That’s the tension we deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
Byelich said a decrease in utilities cost from MSU’s energy efficiency has made the money utilized in other areas. He said competitive programs MSU offers will not see an increase due to the need to cut cost.
“We need to find other reductions,” Simon said. “The step to eliminate post-retirement health benefits for our faculty and staff, early will pay dividends in the long run.”
Under the budget, financial aid will increase by 4.5 percent, or $5.7 million. Simon said the disinvestment from the state is sacrificing student’s futures.
Simon said 75 percent of the General Fund budget comes from tuition and 25 percent comes from the state appropriation.
Simon discussed MSU’s non-compensated presence in Flint.
“You have that responsibility whether people pay you or not and thats what were struggling with,” she said.
The 2016-2017 budget, calls for a 2.5 percent increase for faculty.
“We have a responsibility for the future of Michigan to leave this better than we found it and that’s the part that is so frustrating,” Simon said. “When you add percentages to budgets nothing changes much.”
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