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June 17, 2015

MSU board adopts budget guidelines, sets tuition

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today adopted budget guidelines for the 2015-16 academic year that call for a tuition increase of 2.7 percent for in-state undergraduate students.

The tuition increase applies to both lower division (freshmen and sophomores) and upper division (juniors and seniors) undergraduates.

The budget guidelines cover the university general fund, AgBioResearch, Extension and intercollegiate athletics, authorizing expenditures totaling $1.4 billion.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said the budget assures the university continues to provide students the opportunity to participate in a quality educational experience, as well as keep MSU vibrant during a time of increased global competitiveness.

“As our society and economy become increasingly international in character, access to a globally competitive education plays a more important role, both in each individual’s potential for success and in collectively contributing to the state’s economic vitality,” Simon said. “In order to protect MSU’s value to the state, a reasonable level of financial stability is required.”

As in past years, a portion of the 2015-16 spending plan is earmarked for faculty salary increases. The plan calls for a 2 percent merit allocation, as well as a 0.5 percent college-level market increase.

In addition, funding for market salary adjustment and academic competitiveness support, each providing an approximate 0.5 percent increase, are available to a limited number of faculty and areas intended to retain internationally recognized faculty on the East Lansing campus.

“Attracting and retaining top faculty,” Simon said, “is critical to providing our students an exceptional education, as well as maintaining our reputation as one of the world’s top 100 research institutions.”

To help preserve MSU’s commitment to access, a significant portion of the budget – more than $125 million – is set aside for financial aid. That is a 4.5 percent increase over last year.

Fewer MSU students graduate with debt than state and national peers, and the debt they do incur is lower than state and national averages.

Under the plan, in-state, lower-division students will pay $12 more per credit hour. In-state, upper-division students in most colleges will see an increase of $13.25 per credit hour.

Overall, resident, lower-division students taking a full load of courses – 30 credit hours per academic year – would pay about $13,560 per year, while most resident upper-division students would pay $15,105.

Graduate students’ tuition in most 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.

Tuition and fees for upper division and graduate students in the College of Engineering and upper division undergraduate students in the Eli Broad College of Business will increase by approximately $300 more than other upper division students.

Degrees from these colleges are in high demand and graduates generally receive higher-than-average starting salaries.

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By: Jason Cody