WMU tuition will increase this fall, but stay within state guidelines

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Acting at its June 29 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees opted to raise tuition for 2017-18, but stay within the state's guidelines for tuition restraint.

Beginning with the fall 2017 semester, a Michigan resident enrolled full time as a freshman or sophomore will pay $11,943 in tuition and required fees— $450 above 2016-17 rates. The new figure reflects an increase of 3.91 percent.

The recommendation to the board was consistent with the state's tuition restraint language for this year, said Jan Van Der Kley, vice president for business and finance, who presented the administration's tuition proposal. As part of the appropriation process, the state asked that tuition increases this year be no more than 3.8 percent or $475, whichever is greater. At the current WMU tuition rate, a $475 tuition increase equates to a 3.91 percent increase to WMU's undergraduate tuition and required fees.

Tuition, Van Der Kley noted, generates approximately 71 percent of WMU's operating budget, making it a critical ingredient as the University continues its commitment to offering a transformational student experience.

"It's a balancing act to ensure we manage and allocate financial resources to meet the goals and priorities set forth in the University's strategic plan," she said. "The overarching goal is student success, and this increase will allow us to continue to provide the level of service and academic support our students want, need and deserve."

The cost to attend WMU has historically been and will remain in the lower half of attendance costs among Michigan's 15 public universities. It is also below the cost of attendance at the other five Michigan universities that, like WMU, have been designated by the Carnegie Classification as universities conducting research at "higher" or the "highest" levels.

The board's approval of the proposed rates and other recommended changes will mean all main-campus instructional levels will see new rates, including these:

  • Full-time upper level—junior and senior—resident undergraduate students' annual cost for tuition and required fees beginning this fall will be $13,097.
  • Tuition rates for resident graduate students will increase by 7.5 percent to $596.25 per credit hour, putting those costs into alignment with Michigan's other research universities.
  • Nonresident graduate tuition rates will increase by 2.5 percent to $1,204.17 per credit hour.
  • The differential tuition rates assessed by some colleges will increase by 3.91 percent.
  • Resident undergraduates and nonresident undergraduates will see per-credit-hour tuition rates increase by 10 percent for those credit hours outside the flat-rate, 12-15 credit tuition corridor. 

Additional elements to the 2017-18 tuition rates approved by trustees reflect changes to the way nonresident tuition is assessed. Those changes were approved by trustees at their meeting in January.  They include:

  • Tuition and required fees for nonresident undergraduates who were first enrolled for spring 2017 or earlier will increase by 3.91 percent for credits falling within the tuition corridor.
  • All nonresident undergraduates enrolled for the 2017 summer I session or later will be assessed an amount that is 1.25 times the resident on-campus rate.

A full schedule of tuition and required fees for 2017-18 will be posted at wmich.edu/registrar/tuition.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.