Trustees approve tuition increase
July 28, 2005
KALAMAZOO--Acting at its July 28 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a per-semester increase of $405 in tuition and required fees, which will be implemented this fall.
"Any discussion of tuition must begin with our commitment to provide the highest quality education to our students. They deserve the very best we have to offer," said WMU President Judith I. Bailey. "Regrettably, the budget reductions and mid-year cuts that we have experienced over the past three years have taken us dangerously close to the point at which that quality is threatened, and we just cannot let that happen."
Bailey noted that WMU has taken $16 million in cuts to its state appropriation since the 2002-03 fiscal year and anticipates another $3.3 million in 2005-06. To offset reduced state funding, comply with tuition restraint requests and manage continued increases in operating expenses, the University has downsized over the past three years, eliminating 350 positions or 14 percent of its workforce. Those measures were part of $33.5 million in permanent budget reductions that have impacted everything from student services personnel to building maintenance.
The $405 increase in tuition and fees means that for the fall semester a lower division, in-state undergraduate will pay $3,239 to take the state average course load of 15 credit hours. This compares to $2,834 paid in fall 2004. Beginning students will be assessed the new rate, but most returning students will receive a $100 fall tuition award that will help ease their transition to the new tuition structure and reduce their annual cost.
"Since we have taken this tuition action so close to the beginning of the fall semester, we have decided to provide our returning students with a special $100 tuition reduction award that will help them transition to the new costs," Bailey explained. In addition, she said, WMU will increase its financial aid commitment--already the state's third largest--by 20 percent for the 2005-06 academic year.
For the full 2005-06 academic year, a beginning student will pay $6,478, while a returning in-state undergraduate will pay $6,378 in tuition and fees to take the state average course load of 30 credit hours. For the 2004-05 academic year, that figure was $5,668 for both returning and beginners. Out-of-state and graduate students will also see comparable increases.
For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate, resident and non-resident students, go online to www.wmich.edu/tuition.
Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org