An uncommon education for the common man?

Submitted by HChiti76 on May 14th, 2018 at 10:34 AM

I have read numerous articles in the last few years stating that U-M keeps making it more difficult for in-state students to be accepted and attend U-M.  They keep raising the standards for admissions and don't provide the financial aid necessary for in-state students from middle, working and lower class backgrounds to attend.  Much of this is blamed on U-M's need to grab the out-of-state tuition due to only 8% of funding coming from state taxpayers.  U-M now is only about 60% in-state students.

Over a hundred years ago, James Angell famously stated the University of Michigan vision: "an uncommon education for the common man."

Is Michigan losing the Angell vision?  Are the Michigan men and women of today and the future going to be primarily from privileged backgrounds?  Does this bother you or are you OK with it?




May 14th, 2018 at 10:38 AM ^

Are You a Michigan Resident with a Family Income Less than $65K?
If you apply to U-M and are admitted, we are prepared to cover the full cost of your in-state tuition for four years of undergraduate study on our Ann Arbor campus. That’s our Go Blue Guarantee — a $60,000 value to you and your family!


May 14th, 2018 at 1:02 PM ^

The truth is that the admissions process has become exponentially more competitivie across the board at virtually every quality insitution of higher well as the price. 

20 years ago what would get you accepted then, wouldnt today.  I have seen this first hand walking my son (rising Senior) through the college selection process.  You better be taking honors or AP classes only as well as plenty of leadership, volunteer, and other extracurricular activities.  It truly takes a "team" to get your child set up and competitive to gain admission to schools such as Michigan.


Unfortunately, most (not all mind you, but the majority for sure) students who will qualify for these top tier schools will be of a higher socio-economic status.  They are the ones whose parents can afford the prep school, tutoring, standized test prep, etc.  It is going to be as it always has been.  The "uncommon" man (power, influence, wealth) will have access to better options / percieved better options (on average) than the common man. 


The truth is, that for 95% of the population, what school you go to will have little effect to your possibilities.  Most corporations and businesses solely want to see if you have a degree.  That's it.  I work for a Biotech company and more than 50% of the people I work with have degrees from schools most have never heard of before.


May 14th, 2018 at 1:55 PM ^

Once you experience the real world, you come to realize that where you went to school doesn't hold much value beyond helping you get your foot in the door. I've worked with Ivy League grads who were total idiots, and I've worked with people who went to no-name schools and were the most trusted and valued members of their teams. I haven't noticed much of a correlation between school pedigree and career advancement, except that graduates of good schools had an easier time landing interviews. 

Goggles Paisano

May 14th, 2018 at 4:07 PM ^

I've been in the same profession for 25 years now.  The absolute dumbest employee I have ever worked with was a Notre Dame grad with a high GPA.  I don't think she could tie her shoes or even color within the lines.  Given her background, it is still hard to believe how bad she was at her job.  


May 14th, 2018 at 10:54 AM ^

think he is saying that since out of state tuition is more, any "ties" are going to go to the out of state applicants.  Makes sense for the school, really.  I mean, if you are cool with half full students sections at kickoff and a sea of red for the OSU game...


May 14th, 2018 at 11:11 AM ^

also I'm sure there is something in economics that says that the greater the value of the incentive (reduced tuition) the less number of incentives handed out. 


May 14th, 2018 at 11:12 AM ^

Why don't you think out-of-state students would be less dedicated fans than in state? Seems to be an assumption without any real proof or data to back that up


May 14th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

do think that.  Why can't you not understand that?

(And the love of a dedicated fan rarely starts in college, it typically begins way before that due in large part to proximity.  So, yes, I believe that a substantial decline in in-state attendance would have a notable impact on the interest and attendance of the student body and their families).

Occam's Razor

May 14th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

Yeah man lemme tell ya, it's all the lack of in-staters that make the Big House red for OSU games. Can't possibly be the fact that Michigan has sucked for 15 years against OSU. 

Meanwhile, those in-staters are really filling up the arenas in San Diego and MSG for basketball. Man they're super dedicated compared to out-of-staters! 




May 14th, 2018 at 11:44 AM ^

To be fair the one game it probably does hurt is the osu game since it is now Thanksgiving weekend. With more out of state students you have less people who are already traveling back to Michigan already for that weekend. It is still however mostly the fault of being shitty for 15 years and the fact that osu fans are just a more passionate fanbase (also makes them shittier but they travel better and are louder)

Occam's Razor

May 14th, 2018 at 1:47 PM ^

OSU being more "passionate" has a direct correlation with on the field results. So do OOS students coming back for the Game during Thanksgiving break. 

If Michigan was relevant on a consistent basis over the past decade, the Big House would barely appear as red as it has been. 


May 14th, 2018 at 3:48 PM ^

it be a factor that, on average, 75% of Ohio State students and graduates were born or resided in the State of Ohio before enrolling at Ohio State so they are simply more passionate about their team?  I am not suggestion that Michigan should "want to be" Ohio State in any regard, that is gross, but the geographical makeup of their student body and alums certainly has an impact on their fan base.

I will concede that OSUs on field success is a factor in the passion of their fan base, certainly it is factor.  But it is crazy not to concede that 60% of the student body being from outside the state of Michigan has no bearing on fan involvement.   


May 14th, 2018 at 12:02 PM ^

The first Michigan sporting event I ever attended was as a freshman at M-Vandy in 2006, now I'm an mgoblog degenerate with 28,000 imaginary points

I don't think one has to grow up loving Michigan to be the kind of fan the arrogant Michigan fans would approve of

Rick Sanchez

May 14th, 2018 at 12:24 PM ^

Grew up in Cleveland and was an OSU fan until my high school years when I got turned off by Woody’s sideline antics. Hell, I even thought that OSU was the dominant team in the rivalry until I arrived in Ann Arbor and learned differently. The first sporting event I attended was the Iowa game in 1974. True blue hard liner ever since!


May 14th, 2018 at 1:36 PM ^

He's talking about the average of a population, not any individual in it. He's not saying someone can't be as big or bigger of a fan becuase they grew up out of state. He's saying on average, you're going to get less dedicated fans if you accept more out of state students that could've grown up Texas/Florida/USC/Bama fans and come to Michigan because its a great school than if you accept more in-state students that have been Michigan fans since they were born.

03 Blue 07

May 14th, 2018 at 4:55 PM ^

I could flame the hell out of you, but, let's just leave it at the fact that you have no data other than your opinion. Period. And it's difficult not to be offended by your opinion. 

As an out-of-stater for both undergrad and law school, I would posit that kids from out of state may just as likely have MORE of a connection to the school, because it was a hell of a lot harder for them to get in (at least in the late 90's-- out of state standards were uniformly more difficult and had a lower acceptance rate-- I know this because I asked this specific question during my group visit to the school in the summer of 1998, and after hemming and hawing, they admitted that they have higher standards for out of state students, at least back then; this was right after they'd shown us the James Earl Jones video they used to show prospective students back then).... and wasn't the default, "hey, this is my best state school" choice for people like me, who had to rely on parents and grandparents and my own money to afford to attend undergrad, and who had to finance law school completely with loans because my family had no more money left after they'd helped put me through undergrad.

Also, your "geography" argument is also blown up by anyone who's from, say, Toledo or Northeast Indiana vs., say, Holland, MI. 

As long as you're willing to admit your opinion is pure conjecture based on some nebulous concept of "I'm from the state of Michigan, therefore I love U of M more than anyone else," then we're fine. But don't act like your opinion is based on any sort of rational data set. Thanks.

restive neb

May 14th, 2018 at 11:19 AM ^

He would be wrong.  It is much tougher to get into UM from out of state.  The disparity might be closing some as they accept a larger percentage from out of state, but the gap is, and always will be, large.  The reason for the gap:  If 60% of undergrads are from Michigan, that means that all applications from the REST OF THE WORLD are competing for 40% of the spots.  It's simple math -- they are more selective for out-of-state applicants because they have to be.


May 14th, 2018 at 11:31 PM ^

Admissions basically fills the imposed quotas separately is what I understand, i.e. the financial planning committee says we need X% from in-state, (1-X)% from out of state to make the budget work and admissions fills each quota as needed.  And since the ratio of out-of-state appliations compared to spots has always been greater than in-state, it's more competitive for out of staters like you said.

The way I understand it, admissions would never even compare an out of state application against an in-state and say, oh, this is a tie, give it to the out of state person because they're evaluated in different "buckets".

But to your point, they keep decreasing the X% because the state keeps reducing funding to the school (at least that's the story for decreasing X).  If they actually put all applications into the same pool and made admissions decisions simply open to the best 5k or 6k incoming admits, I'm pretty sure the number of out of state admits would be far greater than it is today.


May 14th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

Back when it was 2/3 in-state and 1/3 out-of-state. I don't know if that is still the case. When the state legislature is only providing 8% of the budget, there's only so much pressure they can put on the university to make in-state admissions a priority.

Pepper Brooks

May 14th, 2018 at 5:24 PM ^…

It looks like the admissions selection criteria are about the same for instate and out of state


128 Admissions Profiles Found

Average 3.83 4.03 715 681 708 31
Low 1.00 1.50 500 470 550 21
High 4.00 4.75 800 800 800 36
Out of State:

233 Admissions Profiles Found

Average 3.84 4.25 722 696 707 32
Low 2.15 2.18 520 490 520 14
High 4.00 5.00 800 800 800 36



May 14th, 2018 at 10:56 AM ^

the Go Blue guarantee helps; but to me it's kind of window dressing. A) It would mean more to me if you bumped it up to say, a household income of 90K. B) It doesn't matter if you have 50K applicants from all over the world and an admittence board that sees 'Well, Mr. Frasier from Glasgow has a 4.0 and Ms. Jones from Saginaw has a 4.0... but Mr. Frasier will pay out of State tuition and Ms. Jones won't...'

'Back in the day' (for me the late 80's-mid 90's) you could work your way through UM. It sucked, but it was possible. My buddy did it working at the Pig, and doing anything else he could (like grave digging). He worked his ass off, but he got out of college debt free.

Nowadays, I don't know if that is possible given the work available and the tuition/external costs. 

Now, UM isn't alone in this. I forget the article, but I read something where the rate of college tuition has risen beyond the rate of inflation for more than a decade. I'll see if I can find this. 

I love UM. I'd love my kid to go to college. But I have to retire too. And the money we've saved won't last long at all for just one of the kids. So unless grants are there aplenty, I don't know. 

I'm telling my kids to actively look at being skilled trades. 


May 14th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

"Nowadays, I don't know if that is possible given the work available and the tuition/external costs."

Spoiler - no, it's not even remotely possible.  People who graduated a long time ago have no conception of just how much debt people are putting themselves into to get an education.  Sooner or later (my guess is sooner), the bubble is going to burst.  At some point, college may just not be worth it (depending on what you study).  Either wages for college-educated folks will have to increase, or tuition will have to decrease.  Neither seems likely right now.


May 14th, 2018 at 12:14 PM ^

Quite frankly I'm surprised it hasn't already. I can't tell you how many times I've heard about people attending private colleges to study teaching or something similar, only to wind up six figures in debt and only having prospects for jobs that pay $30-40k. That's how you wind up with a lifetime of debt. I don't know how anyone's parents are letting their kids do that to themselves.


May 14th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

is far more complicated than that.  There is a discussion below that really kind of get into some of it.  We are essentially living in a neo-feudalistic society.  It is terrifying being the parent of young children right now in what used to be the American middle class, but we just take our Soma and move on because today doesn't end until late and tomorrow starts very early.


May 14th, 2018 at 2:17 PM ^

Everything is more complicated than what is discussed on a football blog.

But it isn't complicated to know that you probably shouldn't take out 80-100k in student loans for a degree where your expected income is 30-40K a year.

I'm not saying this is the way things SHOULD be.  I'm just saying that if you have to go massively into debt to get a job that isn't even going to pay you 50K, then you are probably going to be in a world of financial hurt for a long time. 

There are cheaper options for that degree that will end up working almost as well and won't saddle you with a lifetime of debt.  I love Michigan as much as anyone.  But I wouldn't mortgage my financial future for it.


May 14th, 2018 at 11:52 PM ^

$60,000/year, right?  Thats household median income. If you assume one spouse makes 40k and another makes 20k, that means half of households are doing worse than that.

If you can't think of careers that top out at $30-40k, you're not thinking very hard.  A huge number of people do essentially repetitive work that might get cost of living wage increases but won't get over 40k per year.  Think about anyone you interacted with in the last week:

Per the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) these are some of the top occupations in terms of employment volume and their median wages:

1. (the most common profession) Office and Admin Support: 38k

3. Food Preparation and Serving related occupations (line cooks, school lunch, etc): 24k (!!!)

4. Transportation and Material Moving Occupations (probably bus drivers, forklift operators, etc): 37k

6. Retail Sales Workers: 25k

The list goes on and on.  A lot of people drive a bus or work in a school lunch room or work in a restaurant kitchen or work a checkout counter at the grocery store for essentially their entire careers.  You interact with those professions every week.  Take a look at home many people are over 50 years in those professions.  They're never gonna make over 40k in a year.



May 14th, 2018 at 7:33 PM ^

I would counter that places have programs in place to help people who take those debts on for jobs that don't pay great still come out ahead. I know with law, if you were willing to work for the state on certain under-represented departments for a certain number of years, the state would pay your loans off. I've heard the same with education and teaching. We need people on those fields, and as a society we should encourage those fields to still attract good people.


May 14th, 2018 at 11:54 PM ^

to graduate debt free "nowadays" but you don't have to graduate debt free. Anyone would be extremely lucky to graduate a four year college debt free. 

An education is an investment.  30 years ago, it was an incredibly good investment purely by ROI (your increased lifetime salary was worth the investment).

It is still a good deal, but with the rapid increase in tuition, it's just becoming less so at some intstitutions.  It's still a great deal at Michigan.


May 14th, 2018 at 11:03 AM ^

The only problem with this whole thread is that it is much for more difficultt to get in out of state than it is to get in in-state at Michigan. Michigan is a huge brand that a massive amount of applications, especially since going to the common app. The majority of those applications are out of state students yet the majority of people who attend are in state students. It is harder to get in out of state than it is in-state so there is not some major bias. Additionally if the goal of letting in out of state students is to get money that makes it even less likely for the university to offer out of state students financial aide. So it is actually easier to get in and easier to get money for an in-state student.


May 14th, 2018 at 11:31 AM ^

I'm no math major but it looks like that means the University of Michigan admitted 4,647 students from Michigan and 10,913 from out of state.

So roughly a third of those admitted to Michigan's freshman class this past year are from Michigan. That's... interesting.

How does that compare with peer institutions?

EDIT: It would also be interesting to see what the actual enrollment percentages are like. I have no numbers on this but it seems reasonable to assume that a much larger percentage of in-state admissions will actually enroll at Michigan as their first choice then out-of-state admissions for whom Michigan may be one of a number of attractive options.


May 14th, 2018 at 12:33 PM ^

Right, the yield (% of students enrolling/accepted) is much higher for in-state.  The end result for '16 is that 46% of the undergraduate freshmen are from out of state and 41% of the total undergrad population is from out of state. 

However, the numerator and denominator exclude international and undocumented students.  So the out of state population is even higher than that. 

A driver is the reduction in state funding; this is driving the University to make up the revenues with the high out of state tuition.  They also like the OOS students who have to average higher stats (GPA/ACT) to get in, helping their rankings.