Flat-Rate Tuition Frequently Asked Questions
Beginning in fall 2023, Wayne State is changing how we charge for undergraduate tuition. Instead of paying per credit hour, full-time undergraduate students will pay one flat rate, whether they take 12 credits or 18. This system, known as flat-rate tuition, has been shown to help students graduate faster and with less debt.
But changes always come with questions so we've got answers. Take a few minutes to get to know this new system and how it can help you optimize your schedule to get you across the finish line to your degree.
What is flat-rate tuition?
It's exactly what it sounds like: One flat price for full-time tuition. You'll pay the exact same amount for 12 credits as you would for 18. If you choose to take more than 18 credits, you'll pay the flat rate for the first 18, then an additional per-credit rate for each credit over 18. The exact rate will be determined when tuition is finalized by the Board of Governors in June.
Part-time students (students taking 11 or fewer credits per semester) will continue to be charged per credit hour.
How does a student qualify for flat-rate tuition?
Register for classes through the Registration Portal. Any student registered for a minimum of 12 credits will be assessed the flat tuition rate. Ideally, we recommend registering for 15 or 16 credits per semester to stay on track for graduation without overburdening yourself.
For the best selection of courses, register as soon as possible. Students can meet with their advisor to select courses or adjust their schedules through the first two weeks of the term.
Will fees still be assessed under flat-rate tuition?
Yes, differential tuition (based on college/curriculum) and other fees will remain under the new structure.
Why is WSU implementing flat-rate tuition? What are the benefits to students taking 15 credit hours or more?
To graduate on time, undergraduate students typically need to take an average of 15 credit hours per semester and research shows that students who do take 15 credit hours per semester experience higher academic performance, are more likely to continue through college and are more likely to graduate, often earlier, than students who take fewer credit hours per semester.
There are financial benefits as well by graduating a year or more sooner than if you'd taken 12 credit hours per semester, not only will you enter the workforce more quickly, but you'll also save on additional years of room and board, transportation, fees and other expenses related to attending college.
Is flat-rate tuition a new concept?
Not at all in fact, 10 of Michigan's 15 public universities have already established flat-rate tuition. It is becoming increasingly popular as nationwide research suggests it increases academic success and degree completion.
Which students are NOT included in the new flat-rate tuition?
Flat-rate tuition applies only to full-time undergraduate students, so undergraduates taking fewer than 12 credits, graduate students, School of Medicine students and Law School students are not included.
Are summer courses included in flat-rate tuition?
Yes, flat-rate tuition will apply to spring and summer semesters (starting S/S 2024), for students who choose to attend full time.
How does this policy impact financial aid and will financial aid increase?
There is almost no change to financial aid for students enrolled in 12 to 18 credit hours. In fact, in some ways, it makes it simpler. Previously, a student's financial aid package would adjust when they added or dropped a class. Now, as long as a student stays between 12 and 18 credit hours, their financial aid package will have minimal, if any, adjustments.
Wayne State is also investing in additional financial aid to assist some of our part-time, need-based students during this transition to flat-rate tuition.
Will students be required to take more credit hours in order to complete a degree?
The credit hours required to complete a degree will remain the same. However, students who take advantage of flat-rate tuition could potentially complete their degrees in fewer semesters.
Will more course sections be offered with the expectation that students will register for more credits under flat-rate tuition?
Yes, Wayne State will be coordinating with the university's schools and colleges to offer more classes to accommodate the increase in demand.
What type of services will be offered to help students take full advantage of the new tuition structure without getting overwhelmed?
Advisors will continue to help students select appropriate course schedules that will allow them to make steady progress toward their degrees. They may also direct students to support services to help them manage their coursework.
Additionally, students will have access to expanded and coordinated academic support services (tutoring, peer mentoring, etc.) and programs like first-year interest groups (FIGs), which assign students a block schedule based on a specific academic interest or theme.
What if a student needs to drop a class or withdraws from a class during the semester?
For full-term classes, students can drop and add during the first two weeks as indicated in the Academic and Registration Calendar through the Census Date. If the student remains enrolled in 12 - 18 credits, there will be no change in their assessed tuition. If the total number of enrolled credits is below 12 credits, the per credit hour tuition rate will apply. This may result in an account balance as well as changes to federal financial aid, if applicable.
After the Census Date, students may withdraw from classes and will receive a W mark ("Withdrawal") on their academic transcript. Tuition is not recalculated for withdrawn classes, however, there are enrollment requirements for grants and scholarships, federal direct loans, athletic eligibility, and international student statuses that may require a student to be enrolled as a full-time student. Full-time student status for undergraduate students is defined as 12 or more credits.
For more information regarding financial aid and enrollment status, please visit: Retaining your financial aid. International students and student athletes should consult with their advisors before making changes to their schedule.