LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) — Michigan’s higher education sector is seeing significant adjustments as both Western Michigan University (WMU) and Michigan State University (MSU) announce their tuition rates for the upcoming academic year.

WMU’s Board of Trustees approved a substantial 4.5% tuition increase on June 27, raising tuition for resident first-year undergraduate students to $15,252, marking the largest dollar hike since 2008-09.

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According to MLive, Chair of WMU’s Board of Trustees Shelly Edgerton said that the decision aligns WMU’S rates around the median of state public universities. The increase, coupled with a 7% rise in financial aid, is part of WMU’s goal to balance educational quality with affordability amidst rising operational costs, Edgerton told MLive.

The approved budget for the upcoming academic year stands at $414.5 million, representing a 1.4% increase from the previous year. This incremental growth is fueled by additional state appropriations and higher tuition revenues, despite anticipated challenges in enrollment numbers.

In tandem with the tuition hike, the board approved a 5% increase in room and board costs. Plans for campus redevelopment are also on the rise and include the replacement of the Valley 3 dorms with modernized facilities this summer. 

In contrast, MSU’s Board of Trustees approved a more modest flat-rate increase of $235 per semester for full-time undergraduate and MBA students, equating to a 2.7% rise. This move is part of MSU’s $3.6 billion fiscal year 2024-25 budget, prioritizing investments in academic programming, student support initiatives, and campus infrastructure aligned with the university’s 2030 Strategic Plan.

The budget allocates substantial resources to enhance student success efforts, including the introduction of the new Spartan Tuition Advantage program. This initiative will fully cover tuition costs for Pell-eligible Michigan resident students from households with an annual income of $65,000 or less, ensuring affordability and accessibility in higher education.

Moreover, MSU’s commitment to financial aid has seen a notable increase, with $249.5 million dedicated to supporting student scholarships and grants, reflecting an average 7.5% annual growth rate since the 2018-19 academic year.