MSU board votes to raise tuition by 9.6 percent

Contact: Terry Denbow, University Relations, (517) 355-2262,

Jul 11, 2007

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today adopted a budget for fiscal 2007-08 that is designed to preserve and build upon MSU’s strength and stature as one of the top 100 universities in the world.

As part of the new budget, there will be a general, across-the-board tuition increase of 9.6 percent, covering both undergraduate and graduate students.

Under this budget, an in-state, undergraduate lower division student (freshman or sophomore) will pay an average of $798 more for tuition and fees compared to last year.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said the tuition increase was necessary in the face of reduced support from the state of Michigan.

“We’re trying to preserve the reality of being one of the top 100 universities in the world,” Simon said. “This is not an aspirational budget that has added money because we want to be something different than who we are. This is trying to sustain our own reality. It’s evidence based and values based.”

In addition, the board voted to give the president the authority to make tuition and fee adjustments in response to the level of state appropriations the university receives.

Should appropriation support exceed anticipated levels, tuition would be reduced in the following semester. Alternately, if appropriations are less than anticipated, some increase in tuition and fees would be expected in the following semester.

Also included in the budget is continuation of the Spartan Advantage, a program that ensures grant aid and work study equal to the average tuition, fees, room and board, and books.

Initiated last year, the program is for students whose family income is at or below the federal poverty level. To be eligible, the student also must be a first-time incoming freshman from Michigan, enrolled full time in a baccalaureate program and be eligible for federal Pell grants.

Nearly 200 students took advantage of the program last year. In 2007-08 it’s expected that as many as 600 students could be eligible for the Spartan Advantage, with an average award of about $1,600.

Over the past four years, MSU’s financial aid increases have exceeded tuition hikes by an average of 4.5 percent.

In April, the MSU board approved a 5.25 percent increase in housing rates for returning students for the 2007-08 fiscal year. Through years of cost control, MSU has significantly kept down its housing rates and has the lowest residence hall rates among Michigan’s public colleges and universities.

“This is viewed as a long-term sustainable financial framework,” Simon said. “What this budget does not include is what I would call a lot of short-term gimmicks.”

For more MSU budget information, visit