Tuition freeze helps students, university

Anyone who has turned on a TV or visited the home page in the last week is well aware Eastern Michigan University has raised tuition, room and board by 0 percent for the coming term.

“Obviously, this is a terrible economic time,” President Susan Martin said. “Students work more then they would like. This can help them stay in school, work fewer hours, take fewer loans and complete degree quicker then they would have otherwise.”

This decision came about after a lot of planning by both the president and the Board of Regents.

“We kept our tuition increase lowest in the state,” Martin said. “Both board and leadership here had strong desire to control it again.”

After they discovered they could accommodate a zero increase in both room and board, they challenged themselves to figure out how to get that third zero.

“Current student enrollment for summer and fall numbers made us comfortable enough to do zero tuition increase,” Martin said. “The challenge is to increase enrollment 3.4 percent but I think we can do it.”

Once the plan was approved, everyone got to work to get the word out that EMU would have no increases this year.

“We knew there was a good chance the board would accept recommendation,” the president said. “We didn’t do TV ads until a day before board meeting, but we felt reasonably confident that board would accept recommendation; we mobilized very quickly.”

The president hopes this plan will not only help current EMU students pay for school, but also show the leadership is behind the school is exceptional as well. The plan has been met with a pretty positive reaction from students.

“It sounds great to me,” junior and biology major Doris Addo said. “With no additional increases, students are more likely to come here then other universities, and that’s good.”

Others think this will further Eastern’s reputation as an affordable university.

“Without prices rising, we’ll get more students,” psychology student Maia Chenault, a junior, said. “Eastern is the cheapest four year university in Michigan.”

However, some students don’t see the change being something that will highly impact them.

“It will help keep students here and get more first and second year students because they might not have to go to community college, but it won’t impact me,” elementary math student Dave Larson said. “The VA pays for my stuff.”

Others see it as affecting them minimally since there is still a cost for school.

“I’ll still need to use student loans,” senior Angie Germain, special education major, said. “But hopefully I’ll still get granted what I need since people won’t be asking for as much money.”

Not only are they looking to increase enrollment, but the lack of room and board increase will raise the number living on campus as well.

“We have room to grow by five percent this year with students on campus,” Martin said.

This is all part of a four-year plan to put $195 million into the campus facilities.

“We start Pray-Harrold renovation this week,” President Martin said.

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