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Let money follow students, not lobbyists

May 10, 2006

"Universities like to blame tuition hikes on stagnant state funding, but that doesn't hold water. Tuition increased at double-digit rates even when state aid was rising." That's the opinion expressed by Jack McHugh, legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, in an op-ed piece. He calls for basing state funding allocations on the number of students who attend each school, claiming this would force schools to compete harder for students, thereby lowering costs. The writer notes that "U-M, MSU and Wayne State will complain that they are different because their budgets include research projects and medical schools." But he says, whatever allocation system is used, "such programs should be separated into separate budgets and judged on their own merits, rather than co-mingled with operations funding, to promote transparency." A sidebar lists tuition rates for all public universities, including Wayne State , for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years.