MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a resolution that authorizes measures on tuition and fees increases for the 2004-05 academic year.

NMU President Les Wong reviewed with the trustees several potential scenarios that could result from the state higher education bill being developed in Lansing for the upcoming fiscal year.

“Regardless of the final outcome, we believe that we can keep the increase at or below $125 per semester for full-time resident undergraduate students or $175 for nonresident undergraduates and graduate students,” Wong said. “Keep in mind that those numbers represent caps; the actual tuition and fee increases could be lower depending on the outcome of the higher education appropriations. The only way the actual tuition and fee increases would be higher is if there is a substantive change in what state lawmakers have indicated up to this point.”

“We want to know as much as possible about the impending legislation before we establish specific tuition and fee rates,” said Mary Campbell, chair of the board.  “We hope that more information will allow us to keep tuition as low as possible and to avoid the need to identify additional budget cuts beyond the $3.3 million that will be implemented this year.  Additional cuts, if necessary, would impact our ability to sustain the quality of our programs. Quality programs are the backbone of student choice and a driving factor of our successful enrollment growth.  But for now, we feel comfortable giving students and parents at least an idea of what to expect as they plan for the fall semester.”

The timeline for NMU billing statements to be mailed is no later than July 31. By approving the recommendation, the trustees authorize university administrators to determine the specific rates without further board action, provided they fall within the established caps.

The resolution also puts the university in compliance with tuition restraint language added to last year’s higher education bill. This could make NMU eligible to have 3 percent of its 2003-04 state appropriation – or $1.4 million – restored and have no further reductions in state funding for fiscal year 2004-05.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director