Tuition Goes Up Again

Submitted by bluebyyou on June 16th, 2011 at 7:52 PM

I was just looking at the main page and noticed that tuition is going up again as a result of cuts in funding by the State of Michigan.


"The budget also increases in-state undergraduate tuition and required fees by $797 more per year (a 6.7 percent increase), and out-of-state undergraduate tuition and required fees by $1,781 per year (a 4.9 percent increase)."

OOS tuition is just getting unsustainable, considering it was the highest of all public universities to start with (or so I have been told).



June 16th, 2011 at 7:56 PM ^

Get used to it. Tuition goes up almost every year and it is just going to go up faster with all the states in such a budget deficit. The first thing that is cut when there are budget gaps is education, unfortunately. 


June 16th, 2011 at 9:27 PM ^

Of course, this line of thinking assumes that universities maximize their own resources and can't possibly find ways to reduce their own expenditures when times are tight (as K-12 public institutions are invariably required to do).  Universities live in a fun bubble world.   


June 16th, 2011 at 7:57 PM ^

UM will always be able to get what they charge as long as Michigan is the ivy league backup of the East Coast. Sucks raw for those who always wanted to go without a silver spoon but the notion it's an unsustainable fee is offbase


June 16th, 2011 at 8:05 PM ^

Doesn't it go up every year?   When I was a student (many moons ago) the university used to send out letters to every student,  letting you know that tuition is going up and giving themselves a pat on the back for raising it "only" 5%.

There are a lot of folk nowadays questioning the need for university to begin with....



June 16th, 2011 at 8:19 PM ^

I have seen some studies lately that show using NPV calcuations that in many instances the cost of a college education may not make sense.

While it may never become private, in terms of funding, Michigan is getting very close to being a private institution.  The state is broke and getting broker.

Zone Left

June 16th, 2011 at 9:27 PM ^

The college tuition market isn't a rational market from a financial standpoint. Harvard could easily charge double what it does now, not offer any financial aid, and still have almost the same class demographically each year that it does today. 

Furthermore, the value of a degree doesn't necessarily correlate with tuition charged. The value of a Michigan French Literature degree isn't exactly equal to a Michigan engineering degree*, but tuition is identical for each.

Tuition is going to keep going up as long as students are willing to pay and as long as they demand increasingly better facilities.

*In a financial return sense.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:58 PM ^

Harvard: I disagree. People would pay, but it would destroy the product that they value (namely being able to claim being the best university on the planet). Yes, people would pay $250k for an academic year at Harvard, but they would be selling out their value system, which I would argue is clearly more important to Harvard than cash from tuition based on the fact that Harvard charges 20% of that made up figure.

Yes, and this is where the discrepancy comes in about a college education being worth the investment or not. Coming out of HS, is a student better off attending Western Illinois (the big fallback school from my neck of the woods) and getting a generic degree, or would they be better served starting work in their profession earlier? Without the (I believe fairly recent) stigma of not having a college degree in the workplace, I would imagine that many would be better served going to work right away.

The last point I believe you and I have addressed before, and a big part of tuition increases is the easy availability of funding, both federal, state and institutional in some cases. Feel free to edit this out if it crosses the line, but I think it's very comparable to healthcare costs in that so much of the education cost is unseen (or seen 10-20 years down the road) that schools can charge an amount well over what a normal market would pay. If tomorrow all grants/ federal and state loans and scholarships were taken off the table, tuition costs would be down very quickly.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:37 PM ^

Oh no question that's practical reality, I'm spending crazy money on my undergrad degree right now and dropping out has never crossed my mind. The debate comes in as to whether that should be the case or not. I would argue that most professions do not absolutely require a college degree to be successful in them, and employer training might actually be more practical.


June 17th, 2011 at 7:04 AM ^

Wasn't trolling but I apologize for being crass.

Having said that, you honestly do  have to expect tuition to go up, if not every year, then almost every year.  

Wasn't it Eastern Michigan that recently put out and advertising campaign letting everyone know that they didn't raise tuition in the 2010 year?    That should tell you alot right there.

As for my comment about "need for uni" - yes, people should think about their career plans and if they really need to put themselves tens of thousands in debt for their future.






June 16th, 2011 at 8:13 PM ^

Does Mich have prepaid plans?
In Florida the prepaid plans were great before 2009 when they instituted the TD - tuition dufferential. Almost tripled what it was before just to keep up with the rise each year.


June 16th, 2011 at 8:21 PM ^

I've come to the realization that I won't be able to pay for my theoretical, currently nonexistent children's tuition. I may just move to DC with hopes that the "in-state tuition anywhere" rumor is true.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:46 PM ^

The problem: if you live in D.C., you'll probably want to send your children to private K-12 schools (as virtually everyone with the means to do so does), so by the time they reach college age, you'll have spent tens of thousands on their education that you wouldn't have needed to spend elsewhere.


June 16th, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^

But it's pretty closely related to Michigan, so the line probably moves a little. 

I'm sure before long someone will blame a particular political party/politician/political philosophy, someone else will bring up Hitler, and the thread will asplode and have to be taken down.  But for now, it's probably of great interest, so it'll probably stay.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:53 PM ^

You can always count on it...

Speaking of that, I noticed your tag is a riff on the same theme.  I like it.  Maybe it should have a name as well.  BISB's law?


June 16th, 2011 at 10:52 PM ^

Draft copy of some "laws" I've picked up over time:

1.  As a discussion continues, the probability of a comparison involving RR approaches 1.  Don't be "that guy."

2.  The first rule of MGoPoints is, don't talk about MGoPoints.

3.  Only one epic meltdown per poster per sport per season.  More meltdowns will result in temporary or permanent loss of posting priviliges.

4.  Using dollar signs in the names of schools is NEVER acceptable.


Zone Left

June 16th, 2011 at 10:58 PM ^

5. Don't start a new thread to make a point about the discussion/topic in another thread. That's what the other thread is for.

6. Don't double post an article that's on the front page.

7. If an article was published about Michigan on ESPN/SI/anywhere else more than one hour ago, it's a topic on the board.

8. No Bleacher Report.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:36 PM ^

Assuming the main reason for the tuition increases is state budget cuts, why does out of state tuition go up by such a significant margin?  If the whole reason in-state students pay less is because they're being subsidized by the state, and that money from the state is cut, why do out of state students pay more?

I know there are other factors, but I strongly believe the University could do more to alleviate students' financial burden.  They don't, because college is an arms race and they don't want to fall behind.  People are still paying, so why not? 

Still, I think its a poor decision in the long run.  More important than the state funding is the University's endowment.  Donors are so critical to the growth of the endowment, and now the University is creating a generation of students with unprecedented financial debt relative to their age.  I think in the long run, they'll see fewer and smaller donations, which will be a real financial challenge for the University if they keep up with their current pace.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

Several decades ago when tuition was a couple of grand a year, the argument that in-state students received a benefit from  parents having paid taxes was much more valid than it is now.  Comparing in-state vs OOS tuition is about a 30 K difference.  How many Michigan parents are paying close to that amount in Michigan taxes?  I'd say very few.

Many state schools have become pretty damned good over the last several years due to competition. My guess is that for many programs, the Michigan difference isn't so much different anymore when compared to many of the better state schools.  I;m not knocking Michigan, as both my sons received multiple degrees in engineering from the place, just bitching about the OOS cost.  If you are in-state, a Michigan education is an absolute steal, paid for, in part, by us OOS'ers.

I also think that funding levels from the state now represent about 4 percent of the total budget, not the 15 someone suggested in an earlier post.


June 17th, 2011 at 1:39 AM ^

Until the out of state students can make up for the NPV of everything that the State and her tax payers have provided the University they can STFU.  It's an asset of the States it should probably benefit its citizens.  It sits on some of the most expensive property in the state yet pays no taxes.  


June 16th, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

I chose to go to IU instead of Michigan, I'd rather not pay 55 grand out of state for undergrad. Med school, Law school or Grad school is worth paying 55 grand a year or more for


June 16th, 2011 at 9:45 PM ^

It's pretty rare to go into a new year without a tuition increase. My son is 7 and I figure by the time he gets to U of M it'll probably be around $60,000.00 per year. He better hope he is one hell of a football player.


June 16th, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

so going to college/univeristies would be free or at least be very affordable/cheap like colleges in Europe.  This would really benefit the economy because you're actually investing in social capitals.


June 16th, 2011 at 11:17 PM ^

Then you're talking about a country like Spain (I don't know the article, but I could find it if I really need to...I think) where a Masters is basically mandatory for an entry-level professional job. They're paying huge amounts of money for an educational system that is so watered down that an undergrad degree means literally nothing, where in other countries it will get you in the door for high wage, entry level jobs (engineering, nursing, accounting, ect.).

Edited to add that the other route "free" education countries take is to severely limit the amount of students that can attend college. Getting into one of the technical colleges in India is far harder than getting into MIT here because of mandated limits on enrollment, according to Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat.