Tuition hikes, $15 minimum wage approved by University of Michigan regents

ANN ARBOR, MI – University of Michigan students will see between 3% and 4% upticks in tuition as part of a budget approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

Other measures in the $2.8-billion 2022-23 budget include a $15 minimum wage extended to all temporary and student staff employees on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses, as well as an expansion of financial aid to offset the tuition increases for in- state students who demonstrate need.

With tuition increasing for the 38th consecutive budget cycle, Regent Denise Ilitch was the lone dissenting voice and vote for the budget during the June 16 regents meeting, saying that annual increases are “not sustainable” and UM should find different revenue streams.

“We need to be creative, innovative and tighten our belts and make the same difficult sacrifices made everyday by the hard working people that attend our three campuses,” she said, suggesting a centralization of administrative duties to lessons costs as an example.

However, the regents approved the budget, which includes $2.59 billion for the Ann Arbor campus, and the tuition increase in a 7-1 vote.

The Ann Arbor campus’ budget attempts to raise revenue amid rising inflation, while not hurting students, faculty and staff in need, Provost Laurie McCauley said during her budget presentation at the meeting.

With national inflation hitting 8.6% in May, according to the US Bureau of Labor, there are “national and global economic trends not experienced in a generation,” according to the budget presentation.

“However, most notably, this type of environment challenges the faculty, staff, and temporary workers on our campus, particularly those at the lower end of the income distribution,” the budget presentation states.

Between tuition, housing and other fees, full-time out-of-state undergraduate students will pay $55,334 next year. That number is $16,736 for in-state students. A full-time student takes between 12 to 18 credit hours.

Tuition will increase 3.4% for in-state undergraduate students, meaning a minimum $8,368 for freshman and sophomores during the fall 2022 semester. For out-of-state students, tuition will increase 3.9% to a minimum of $27,667.

The minimum tuition for junior and senior undergraduate students will be $9,418 for in-state students and $29,606 for out-of-state students Costs also differ based on enrollment in certain schools, such as the Ross Business School, Engineering School and more.

Housing costs will also increase 4.6%, according to UM Vice President of Student Life Martino Harmon.

For single rooms in university housing, the annual cost will be $15,719, or an increase of $691. Double rooms will cost $13,171 and triple rooms will cost $11,642. Both of those increases were more than $500.

The regents supporting the budget argued that UM’s total financial aid package will offset these rising costs, as total financial aid was increased by 6.5%. Officials noted that 61% of in-state students and 42% of out-of-state ones pay less than the published cost of attendance.

“As a result, all in-state undergraduates with financial need will have no increase in net tuition from this tuition increase,” McCauley said.

McCauley, as well as Regent Paul Brown, touted UM’s Go Blue Guarantee, which offers free full tuition to admitted in-state students on the Ann Arbor campus whose families have incomes under $65,000.

Related: GPA requirement part of free tuition guarantee at University of Michigan Flint, Dearborn campuses

The budget prioritizes the people who make up this university, the presentation states.

“Our priorities are focused on the students, faculty, and staff who make up this great university and actualize our commitment to providing long-term societal benefits through education, research, and public service,” according to the presentation.

The $15 minimum wage extension for all employees ensures all staff “are compensated in a manner consistent with institutional values, regardless of how many hours they work for the university,” McCauley said.

Regent Chair Jordan Acker and Brown both publicly supported the wage jump.

“This is the right thing to do, and I’m glad we are paying a livable minimum wage to all employees,” Acker wrote on Twitter.

“I hope the university will be a leader in our society in bringing all of our employees up to that very minimal level,” Brown said.

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