Eastern Michigan University's Board of Regents voted unanimously to increase tuition by 7.8 percent on Tuesday. The $25 more students will be paying per credit hour means that the average in-state freshman is going to be paying $10,417 a year, according to The Detroit Free Press.
"We have a very tight balance sheet," the Free Press quoted outgoing president Susan Martin. "We need to improve our reserves and use the money to help with needed capital improvements. We never have enough money for what we need to do. We've tried to manage as best as we can, but this step was needed."
This increase is over twice what the Michigan state legislature set the cap at, 3.2 percent. As a result, the university will not receive its $1 million in revenue sharing from Lansing. According to the Detroit News, this will mean that the university will still generate an extra $10 million.
Eastern's Division of University Communications released a Q & A session the day the board voted. It addressed the reason behind the increase.
"The University is raising tuition in order to continue to provide strong and high-demand academic programs that support student success," it said.
The press release pointed out that despite this increase, Eastern’s tuition remains the 13th lowest price out of the state's 15 public universities. And according to a list from collegecalc.org, Eastern is much more affordable than other colleges. In-state tuition at Michigan State is $12,862. The University of Michigan can cost well over $7,400 for 12-18 credits.
The Free Press said the board also approved a 10.7 percent increase in financial aid.
According to a recommendation release for the Operating Budget, Eastern will be running on a $311.7 million budget. Last year's operating budget was $302.6 million. $229.2 million of this will come from tuition and fees, $71.7 from state appropriations and $9.8 million from investment income and other sources.