Shows 'Net Cost' of College Has Decreased
net tuition cost for the average Michigan public university student
decreased over a recent five-year period, according to a study issued
Tuesday by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.
show that increases in scholarships, grants and tuition tax credits
have more than outpaced rising tuition rates after inflationary
adjustments. This means that students, on average, paid a smaller
percentage of the total “sticker price” for tuition and mandatory
fees in fiscal year 2003 than they did in 1998.
Northern Michigan University, for example, the annual tuition rate
for resident undergraduates increased by $1,358 over the five-year
span. But the increase was offset by a combination of institutional
aid, state aid, federal aid and federal tax credits that rose by
an even greater amount – $1,411.
study confirms that it’s important to look at both numbers,” said
NMU President Les Wong. “Some might assume college is out of reach
because they only see reports of tuition going up. They may not
realize that financial aid is compensating for that by growing at
a similar or even more accelerated rate. Higher education is a significant
investment, and Northern is committed to ensuring that it remains
accessible to those with the greatest need. We have put more university
resources into financial aid and scholarship programs every year,
even when we were cutting other budgets across campus.”
awarded an average of $556 in institutional aid per fiscal-year
equated student in 1998. Five years later, the figure climbed to
$889, which represents a 60 percent increase.
Presidents Council report was patterned after a study done for USA
Today and compiled by Hank Prince, a former Michigan House
Fiscal Agency associate director.
found that the net cost of a college education was 45 percent of
the “sticker price” in fiscal year 2003, compared with 60 percent
study shows financial aid from all sources is a significant factor
in reducing the cost and increasing the affordability of a college
education in Michigan,” said Mike Boulus, executive director of
the Presidents Council. “Institutional aid is a significant but
overlooked component of the total cost of higher education. Political
involvement, in the form of tuition caps, makes it harder for universities
to provide university resources to students, which may result in
higher net tuition costs for many students.”
Presidents Council is a nonprofit higher education association based
in Lansing . It serves Michigan ’s 15 public universities. For more
information on the study, visit www.pcsum.org
and follow links to the report.