Tuition fees for Eastern Michigan University students will increase for the 2020-21 school year after the Board of Regents approved its 2020-21 budget on Thursday, June 18.
The board approved a 4.9% increase for graduate and doctoral students and a 2.9% increase for undergraduate students taking 30 credit hours. Tuition last year was $13,125 and is now $13,500 based on a 30 credit academic year following the approval.
A resident freshman taking 30 credit hours a year will pay $375 more in tuition this coming year, an amount that is covered by the gift of $400 to all incoming freshmen from GameAbove.
The new tuition rates are part of the university’s $288.1 million budget for the 2020-21 school year, as well as the university’s auxiliary fund operating budget of $38.5 million. The general fund is $5.5 million less than the 2019-20 budget, per board document.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has recommended a tuition restraint cap of 4.25%. If there are changes to the assumptions used to develop the EMU’s general fund budget when the State of Michigan budget is approved by the Legislature later this summer, the University will adjust tuition and fees. The tuition increase will not exceed any tuition restraint cap that the State of Michigan may impose.
The average annual tuition and fees increase over the past decade at EMU is 3.9%. In 1980, state aid accounted for 72.5% of the EMU’s revenue with 27.5 percent coming from tuition and fees. Today, state aid accounts for less than 25 percent of the general fund revenues with tuition and fees making up over 75%.
“I wanted to reaffirm the fact that all of us have deliberated long and hard before approving a tuition increase... and [EMU] is a school of opportunity that delivers excellence at a very reasonable price,” Regent Rich Baird said at the end of the meeting.
“While it’s very difficult for me to approve these increases that are higher than the rate of inflation, there is no question in my mind that this increase is needed and the university will do everything in its power to accommodate those that will struggle the most with even a small increase.”
The regents also approved the university’s auxiliary fund operating budget of $38.5 million.
University President James Smith announced in April that the school would be losing $6 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.
EMU is planning to resume in-person operations when the fall semester begins on Aug. 31, but not without strict health protocol and social distancing guidelines. Officials have been working 24/7 to reshape general public recommendations to a college campus environment.
“Faculty will be offering a lot of remote classes, hybrid classes, and they’re organizing the schedule deliberately on campus...We’ll do classes in shifts...We’ll use larger classrooms, routes will be planned, hallways will be one direction,” said John Sonnega, assistant professor in public health education and director of the undergraduate public health program at EMU.
The next EMU Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Oct. 22.