Several Michigan universities have announced tuition hikes. Oakland, the University of Michigan, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Tech, Western Michigan, the University of Michigan at Flint, Saginaw Valley have raised tuition. Federal pell grants have been cut, too.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's budget cuts reduced funding to universities by 15 percent. Some universities lost as much as 21 percent of their federal funding. In order to avoid deeper funding cuts, Snyder says universities may only raise tuition by seven percent. Our son is transferring to Oakland University, which had the highest allowable tuition increase: 7 percent.
Other tuition rate hikes for undergraduates include:
* University of Michigan: 6.7 percent
* Western Michigan University: 6.6 percent
* Saginaw Valley State: 6.9 percent
* Lake Superior State: 6.94 percent
* Michigan Technological University: 6.95 percent
* U of M at Flint: 6.8 percent
Graduate tuition hikes are slightly lower: around 5 percent. Currently, these universities charge around $309 to $450 per credit hour, depending upon where the student is in their undergrad program. Federal Pell grants have been cut, meaning students receiving financial aid will pay more out-of-pocket.
College costs, especially community college tuition rates, have multiplied about five to 10 times in the last 27 years.
When I attended Muskegon Community College from 1982 to 1984, tuition cost $21 per credit hour for in-country residents. Out-of-county tuition rates were around $30 per credit hour. Costs for tuition, books, gas and supplies was about $1400 to $1,600 per year.
Our sons started MCC in 2008 and 2010. Tuition is now paid per contact hour instead of per credit hour. One credit hour equals approximately two contact hours, depending upon class. Tuition costs for the 2011 school year are $77 per contact hour for in-county residents. Out-of-country residents pay $135 per contact hour or $200 to $270 per credit hour. An Associates Degree requires 62 credit hours.
MCC estimates that with books, tuition, transportation and fees a student who lives at home will pay $12,200 per year if they live in-county and $20,100 per semester for out-of-county students. Those were last year's estimates and do not reflect the significant gas price hike Michigan residents experienced.
Gas prices went over $4 per gallon earlier this year and is still around $3.60 to $3.90 per gallon. It costs our sons around $10 to $12 per day in fuel costs alone to drive to school. There is no public transportation as we live out-of-county. Carpooling is difficult because student schedules vary so much. Higher fuel costs could raise college costs of out-of-county students to $25,000 per year. We would have to pay out-of-county rates for any community college because there is no college in our county.
A life-long resident of "Pure Michigan", Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben writes about people, places, events and issues in the Great Lakes State.