Michigan State University tuition to rise 6.8 percent

Contact: Terry Denbow, University Relations, (517) 432-0117, denbow@msu.edu; or Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 432-0920, cell (517) 281-7129, oswald@msu.edu

Jun 13, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today approved budget guidelines for fiscal year 2008-09 designed to protect the university’s ability to provide globally competitive education and bolster Michigan’s economic vitality.

The budget includes a tuition increase of 6.8 percent, or $639, for in-state, lower- division undergraduates (freshmen and sophomores). Tuition for out-of-state undergraduate students and graduate students will increase approximately 7.1 percent over restructured tuition and fee rates (see below).

The total annual cost of tuition and fees plus room and board will be $17,240 for freshmen and sophomores based on a course load of 15 credit hours per semester and an annual room-and-board rate of $7,026 (double occupancy and unlimited meals).

The board approved a 5.25 percent room-and-board rate increase in April. MSU’s room-and-board rates remain among the lowest in the Big Ten and among Michigan’s public colleges and universities, while services remain high, providing excellent value for MSU students who take advantage of on-campus living.

Addressing the tuition increase, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said, “The value of MSU lies at the nexus of cost and quality. It is never an easy decision to ask our students and their families to pay more, but we owe it to them and to the state of Michigan to sustain this university as a world-class institution now and for the long term. We will not mortgage the future.”

The approved budget continues Michigan State’s commitment to increasing financial aid to keep pace with rising tuition to preserve access. Base financial aid will rise 11.6 percent, bringing total institutional financial aid to $69.5 million.

The financial aid total includes 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 in 2006, Spartan Advantage is for students whose family income is at or below the federal poverty level. Last year 710 students took part in the program, receiving $2.4 million, with an average individual award of approximately $3,348.

“MSU is firmly committed to providing a highly valuable, accessible education for Michigan students and families at all socioeconomic levels,” Simon said. “The majority of our students are from middle-income families or those with modest means, yet they receive a globally competitive education from one of the top 100 research universities in the world. It’s a remarkable investment for them and for Michigan’s economic future.”

The board also approved a phased restructuring of existing tuition and fees over three years. Energy and matriculation fees, which students now pay each time they register for classes, will be incorporated into per-credit-hour cost and the cost per credit hour will become uniform no matter how many hours a student takes.

These steps will make it easier for students and families to understand and calculate cost of attendance. They also will reduce costs for part-time students, including those taking one or two courses per semester to complete a degree or post-baccalaureate certificate and those attempting to balance academic and work requirements in difficult economic times.

Other budget highlights include:

  • $940 million general fund budget ($64 million increase), based on an anticipated 3 percent increase in state appropriations to $298.8 million.
  • 17.6 percent ($6.3 million) rise in energy costs, more than double the expected increase. The unanticipated increase is being offset by a $3.5 million base budget cut. MSU’s environmental stewardship initiative (www.bespartangreen.msu.edu) includes a number of energy savings strategies. The budget cuts provide an incentive for units to adopt conservation behaviors quickly.
  • Employee compensation increases totaling $28.3 million. That includes $3.9 million for health care increases.
  • 3 percent merit-based salary hike for faculty/academic staff; 3 percent stipend increase for graduate assistants with research or administrative appointments.
  • Presidential authority to adjust tuition and fees in response to the level of state appropriations the university receives. If appropriation support exceeds anticipated levels, tuition would be reduced. If appropriations are less than anticipated, a tuition increase would be possible.
  • $51.1 million ($200,000 increase) in the MSU Extension budget.
  • $45.5 million ($700,000 decrease) in the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station budget.
  • $73.5 million ($400,000 increase) Intercollegiate Athletics budget, with recurring expenditures projected to rise by 3 percent.
For more information, go to www.budget.msu.edu.