NMU Board Sets Tuition
The NMU Board of Trustees today approved 2010-11 tuition and fees, along with a $1.1 million increase in financial aid. The rate for full-time resident undergraduates is $205 more per semester. But the fall increase will be reduced to only $13 after NMU applies a $192 stimulus credit.
Northern previously announced that it would offer a tuition credit to Michigan full-time undergraduate students this fall with the $1.3 million it received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Universities were required to use the one-time stimulus funding for this purpose or to improve academic facilities.
The annual cost for full-time resident undergraduates is $7,864, a 5.5 percent increase from the previous rate of $7,454. With the credit, this year’s actual cost is $7,667, or a 2.9 percent increase. Northern will continue to have the second-lowest tuition and fees among Michigan’s 15 public universities. Trustee Gil Ziegler cast the only vote against the proposal.
“We all know that a strong education system makes for a strong economy,” said Trustee Garn Lewis. “These are tough times, but we haven’t buried our heads in the sand. We’ve accepted the reality that state funding will be less and less and reduced costs, yet we understand as an institution that there has to be an investment to preserve a quality education. What makes it easy for me to support this is that we’re not asking students and families to make the investment themselves. We’re putting in a lot to help them secure their future. As long as we’re doing what we can to help the students most in need, I can vote in favor of this.”
Because out-of-state students are not eligible for the stimulus credit, the NMU board voted to hold tuition increases for nonresident undergraduates to $226. Graduate students will pay $28 more per credit hour regardless of residency. A full rate schedule can be found at www.nmu.edu/tuition. The tuition model presented to the board assumed a 3.1 percent reduction in state appropriations, a 2.5 percent increase in operating expenses and steady enrollment.
NMU administrators proposed the significant boost in financial aid to cover the following: a projected 20 percent increase in the demand among NMU students for need-based aid; a larger than expected increase in students qualifying for the new transfer scholarship; and the final phase-in of NMU Honors Program scholarships.
“Students who are eligible for Pell Grants will have little or no out-of-pocket increases,” said NMU President Les Wong. “We have increased our support to students because access and affordability remain NMU benchmarks, even as the state has disinvested in higher education. Despite several unknowns—no finalized higher education budget, no state budget and a new governor and legislature coming in—we are committed to protecting the curriculum and quality of the academic experience, which is the reason students choose Northern.”
The NMU board also approved chemistry and biology lab fees of $40 and $25 per semester, respectively, along with a program fee of $75 per semester for all students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. The funds will cover the cost of supplies and equipment.
Click here to read about other board action from today's meeting.