President Gilmour's tuition message
On June 22, 2011, the University’s Board of Governors voted to increase tuition 6.9 percent for Michigan-resident undergraduate students and 7.1 percent for graduate students. This decision was made necessary by recent state cuts to higher education, and reached only after an analysis of every school, college and division within the University. Our goal was to balance our budget while preserving the University's strengths in teaching and research. In the face of rising costs and steadily declining state support, there was no other choice but to raise tuition.
Wayne State's undergraduate tuition will increase by approximately $18.55 per credit hour or $223 per semester for students taking 12 credit hours in fall 2011. Any increase is difficult to bear, but it is important to note that Wayne State's tuition remains 13th among Michigan's 15 public universities, and is substantially lower than Michigan's other two major research universities.
The Board’s decision was made with the understanding that we must do all we can to preserve our tradition of affordability. To help mitigate the tuition increase, particularly for students needing financial assistance, Wayne State is continuing an array of strong financial aid packages and scholarship opportunities. We have doubled institutional financial aid over the past five years, and are increasing it an additional 8.7 percent for academic year 2011-2012.
We recognize the economic realities facing our state, our University community and particularly our students. For that reason Wayne State has aggressively pursued a course of fiscal responsibility, making permanent cuts in our operating expenses of nearly $80 million since 2002. These include budget reductions of approximately $29 million that will be implemented over the next several months.
Our goal remains always to provide an outstanding education at an affordable cost. Any compromise in quality is unacceptable; we have an enduring commitment to maintain and strengthen the teaching and research core of the University. In the present economic environment this can be accomplished only through an increase in tuition and a significant reduction in operating costs. Preserving the excellence of a Wayne State education will best serve our faculty, our students and our community, both now and in the future.
The Board of Governors and I appreciate your understanding and continued support.