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Trustees approve tuition and fee increase

July 14, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Acting at its July 14 meeting, Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees approved a per-semester tuition increase of $175 for full-time students, effective with the start of the fall 2006 semester.

The 6 percent increase means that for the fall semester, a lower-division, in-state undergraduate will pay $3,433 to take the state average course load of 15 credits. This compares to $3,239 for the fall 2005 semester. Upper division undergraduates, undergraduates from out of state and all graduate students will be assessed similar 6 percent increases. Graduate tuition will be assessed on a per-credit hour basis, rather than on a block tuition plan.

"We're confident this increase, along with cost saving measures and reductions we are taking across the campus, will help address our fiscal challenges, but still keep WMU competitively priced and a true value for our students and their families," said WMU President Judith I. Bailey in making the tuition recommendation to the board. "We expect our costs will continue to be in the mid-range of Michigan's 15 public universities and well below some institutions that do not offer the breadth of academic programs or the research resources that have been our hallmarks."

Bailey also noted that an additional 6 percent of funding would be put into WMU's student financial aid fund to match the amount of the increase. Matching tuition increases with additional financial aid has long been the University's practice.

In her presentation to the board, Bailey noted that the University's general fund operating budget has only two sources of revenue--tuition and state appropriations. The University expects to receive a 2.9 percent increase in funding from the state this year--its first increase since 2001. That increase, however, represents just a portion of the amount cut from the university's base appropriation over the past three years, and WMU's 2006-07 funding from the state is expected to be near the amount received for the 1998-99 academic year.

Earlier this year, trustees approved room and board rates designed to hold cost increases to the rate of inflation--3.4 percent. That action, combined with the July 14 tuition action, means the annual costs for a full-time WMU undergraduate living in a university residence hall will rise by 4.67 percent.

For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate, resident and nonresident students, go online to www.wmich.edu/tuition.

Related article
Trustees OK estimated general fund budget

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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