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April 17, 2020

University to freeze tuition in response to pandemic

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., announced Michigan State University tuition rates will not change for the 2020-21 academic year. The news comes as the university begins to address the financial implications of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“In the coming months many families will be facing difficult financial decisions as a result of the pandemic. In freezing tuition rates for the upcoming academic year, we are doing what we can to ensure students can stay in our Spartan family,” Stanley said. “The core of a land-grant university’s mission is to provide access to quality, affordable education for all – no matter the challenge or circumstance.”

The university is currently operating under a two-year budget approved in June 2018. The budget established a tuition freeze for all undergraduate students, so tuition rates also did not increase for the 2019-20 academic year. With this action, 2018-2019 rates will continue for a third year.

Under MSU’s flat-rate tuition model, the rate is based on 15 credits for undergraduate students taking between 12 and 18 credits. Rates are different depending on year in school, residential status and, in some cases, the student’s major. Masters and doctoral students, as well as students in the human and veterinary medicine colleges also pay different rates. The 2020-21 tuition freeze would apply to all rates university wide except the College of Law where tuition decisions have yet to be made.

Other actions MSU is taking to address budget shortfalls include reducing travel expenditures, modifying construction and remodeling projects as well as equipment expenditures and reviewing planned hiring. In addition, all executives will take a 2% to 7% temporary pay cut based on salary levels, anticipated to last through June, but possibly for a full year. Stanley is voluntarily taking a 10% pay reduction, effective immediately.

In a recent message to faculty and staff, Stanley said, “As we take required actions, we will keep our academic mission at the forefront of all we do. I intend, with your support, to ensure that MSU remains a place where students are excited to enroll, where faculty and staff find fulfilling work and where our community outreach makes a difference every day in Michigan and around the globe.”

The 2020-21 tuition freeze is subject to formal approval of the 2020-21 budget by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees at their next formal meeting.

By: Emily Guerrant