Focusing on access and high-quality education, WMU trustees approve 2023-24 tuition

Contact: Paula M. Davis
The seal sculpture on WMU's campus with Sangren Hall and the new student center.

"Our tuition allows us to provide the resources needed to offer a top-tier educational experience with great career outcomes," says Shelli Edgerton, Board of Trustees chair.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees has set tuition, required fees, and room and board rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Along with the 4.62% tuition and fee increase trustees approved on Thursday, they also boosted need-based financial aid by the same percentage or $1.6 million.

​​​​​Under Western’s new tuition rate, which aligns with the state’s tuition cap, the University remains competitively priced—eighth in student costs among Michigan’s 15 public universities and one of the most affordable of the state’s high-research institutions.

“We balance the crucial need to offer high-quality degrees with accessibility and affordability for all our students and their families,” says Shelli Edgerton, Board of Trustees chair. "Our tuition allows us to provide the resources needed to offer a top-tier educational experience with great career outcomes."

Edgerton adds that Western is a university focused on “equitable access to a degree, as well as Western’s long-standing practice to increase our financial aid at the same rate as our tuition increase.”

Along with the $1.6 million newly budgeted for financial aid in 2023-24, the University’s Empowering Futures Gift is also funding the greatest expansion of scholarships in the history of the institution. And new this year, students have access to the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. This state scholarship was created to ensure access to a high-quality college education and provides up to $5,500 to public university students annually.

Budget backgrounder

As a public university, Western’s $410.6 million operating budget is primarily drawn from two sources: student tuition and an annual allocation from the state of Michigan.

At 69% of the University’s operating revenue, tuition is by far the major funding source, supporting such essential student needs as high-quality instruction and co-curricular programming, information technology, libraries, public safety and many other services.

For the upcoming academic year, a newly admitted full-time first-year student who is a Michigan resident will pay $14,594 in tuition and required fees, an increase of $644. With that updated pricing, Western falls in the middle of the state universities while maintaining what WMU’s president calls a “top objective”— ensuring access and providing students with exceptional education when they enroll.

“Because of that quality, we offer remarkable value for our students, which our career outcomes demonstrate every year,” President Edward Montgomery says.

“Within months of graduation, 9 of 10 new Bronco alumni land jobs or are pursuing graduate studies. Even better, they get jobs they like in their fields of study. We’re proud of these outcomes, as we know unequivocally that a college education offers an exceptional return on investment.”

Housing costs

At Thursday’s meeting, trustees also approved updated pricing for student housing, setting rates that are designed to keep on-campus living affordable and comparable to the surrounding market.

Arcadia Flats apartments will retain last year’s rates. Room and board at the University’s 14 residence halls will rise by 5.5% this coming fall while rate increases at Western View and Stadium Drive Apartments are 4.5% and 1%, respectively.

“New rates for residence halls and apartments will allow for continued maintenance and improvements to existing facilities, while maintaining our sensitivity to student access and affordability,” says Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs.

“This year’s request enables us to continue to provide the quality services and quality food students expect and deserve.”

The 2023-24 tuition and required fee schedule is available on the Registrar’s Office webpage, and pricing for housing is posted on the Housing and Residence Life webpage.

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