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Posted on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Eastern Michigan University hikes tuition 3.95%, sets $290.6M operating budget

By Kellie Woodhouse

UPDATE: Tuition and fee increases and all proposed budgets were given final approval by the full Board of Regents at their afternoon meeting.

An Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents finance committee has agreed to increase tuition and fees 3.95 percent.


A student waves to the crowd during the Eastern Michigan University commencement ceremonies.

The increase is expected to generate $4.6 million in additional funds which, coupled with a slight increase in revenues and a $1.9 million increase in state funding, brings the school’s fiscal 2012-13 operating budget to $290.6 million, a $7.3 million increase from the previous year.

“We are all deeply concerned about the cost of education for these students, we truly are,” Regent Mike Morris said, adding that EMU is more “aware than most of the amount of debt that students” incur through college.

“We just can’t keep zero forever, 3.95 (percent) is well within the bounds of what we need to do to upgrade,” he continued.

Regent Thomas W. Sidlik said the hike is essential in order “to keep costs under control.”

Though approved by the finance committee, both the increase and the budget must also be approved by the full board at a 1 p.m. meeting today.

The 3.95 percent tuition hike pushes the maximum increase allowable if EMU is to receive additional performance funding from the state based on tuition restraint. Roughly $9 million in state funds will be split among the public universities that keep tuition increases below 4 percent.

Full-time resident undergraduates at EMU will pay $9,026 per year in tuition and fees, up from $8,683. The change amounts to an additional $9.75 per credit hour.

The hike follows a 3.65 percent increase last year, a tuition freeze the year before and a 3.8 percent increase in fiscal 2009-10. In fiscal 2008-09, the school increased tuition 7.7 percent. In five years, resident tuition and fees at EMU has increased from $7,511 to $9,026, a 20.2 percent increase.

“This has not been easy for us, “ EMU Chief Financial Officer John Lumm said, also noting that EMU has averaged a 2.5 percent yearly tuition increase over the past three years. “We made a conscious decision to protect students as much as we could.”

EMU’s $290.6 million general fund budget includes $209.6 million in tuition revenue, $66.5 million in state funds and $14.5 million in other revenues. The school has budgeted for a 1 percent increase in enrollment.

Last year, the school budgeted for a 1.7 percent increase in enrollment, but the total number of credit hours at EMU declined 1.4 percent, contributing to a year-long shortfall problem.

Of EMU’s $290.6 million budget, $142.4 million and $53.3 million is set aside for salaries and benefits, respectively. Overall personnel costs at the school are projected to increase 4.4 percent.

The budget includes a $2 million increase in student aid, bringing total EMU-backed scholarship levels to $35.7 million.

Next year’s budget includes a significant hike in application fees. Prospective undergraduates will pay $35 to apply to EMU online, up 75 percent from the current $20 fee. Online graduate application fees will increase from $25 to $35.

EMU is projecting $42.1 million in additional revenue from housing and dining fees, up from $40.7 million. The Board of Regents increased housing fees 4.95 percent and school officials predict a 5 percent increase in students living on campus.

EMU is planning to use $2 million of that revenue to renovate Best Hall, Westview apartments, student center furniture and select parking lots.

The committee also approved $21.7 million in capital expenditures for the coming year, including $8.5 million to finish the $90 million science complex and $13.2 million to cover housing facility upgrades and improvements in wireless connection, classroom technology and IT infrastructure.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

"EMU is planning to use $2 million of that revenue to renovate Best Hall, Westview apartments, student center furniture and select parking lots." Seriously? Student Center furniture? That building is still new, why exactly are they replacing the furniture?

Lac Court Orilles

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Don't blame Eastern Michigan University for tuition increases! Contact State Representative Mark Ouimet, State Senator Randy Richardville, and Michigan Governor Snyder and ASK THEM WHY they caused the increase to Eastern Michigan's tuition rate.

Chris Hall

Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

On 6/18 you commented that republicans should reward EMU for holding the line on tuition. Now, two days later you're saying it's their fault that EMU raised tuition? You seem to be one of those people that thinks everything bad happens to them and everything good happens because of them.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

What a shame the way these universities keep putting to families. EMU raising the room and board to improve dorms that are fine the way they are was crazy. Now in a separate release raising the tuition. They just are not honest about it as they very much talked to prospective students about their holding the line on cost and NOT raising tuition. Looks like they are no better than anybody else. When you look at the general standing of EMU the value is just not that great. Incoming GPAs are well below the norm and a lot of talk about scholaships and grants but little in actual results. Just be up front and tell us the total cost and quit playing games and lying. Finally do not bother upgrading the dorms. Most families can not afford things as they are. Most kid at EMU can commute if they get to bad. Save us some money for crying out load and get your hands out of our pockets. Bet you the pres and staff get some nice raises this year while the rest of us are taking pay cuts.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

How much of the increase will go toward all the marketing campaigns that are being launched to try to boost enrollment? How much more in marketing costs will be required the next time tuition is raised? Isn't it a vicious circle? We have two articles running at the same bemoaning drops in enrollment and the other reporting more tuition increases. None of these colleges are able to see the connection?


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

....In an effort to boost enrollment, Eastern Michigan University is launching a new program encouraging alumni that have moved away from Michigan to send their children to EMU at the in-state rate. That's so they can entice out of state Alums to send their kids here at in-state tuition rates.

Geoff Larcom

Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

It's very important to note that for the past three years, Eastern's tuition and fee increases have been 3.8 percent, 0 percent and 3.65 percent this past year, for an average of 2.5 percent. That 3-year average is the lowest among Michigan's 15 public universities. If approved, this year's proposed 3.95 percent increase would maintain that low average. Note: Geoff Larcom is executive director of media relations at Eastern Michigan University.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 4:53 a.m.

EMU average incoming freashmen 3.1 GPA. U of M 3.8. Seems your tuition should be significantly lower. EMU is more of a 4 year community college than a 4 year University. Improving dorms that are fine just comtinues to put the cost out of reach for families and most of these increase will be lining the pockets of staff that should be making their money doing research. Spin it any way you want this is a ripoff for local families utilizing EMU and way out of line with what was presented to us on several tours and events to get kids to EMU. And why split the 2 increases? It will be one check out of most families pocket! Just more spin. What will the total cost be for a student carring a full load of 15 credit hours and living on campus? Do not give the joke 13 credit hour crap cause a kid will not get done in four years. Of course another year means more money for EMU$$$$$


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Pointing out that you are hitting me in the head with a club fewer times than the guy standing next to you doesn't really make the fact that you are, in fact, still hitting me over the head any easier to take. I guess if it makes you feel better, however, by all means....


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

True - but 20% in five years is a lot and I am not worried about what other schools are doing


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

I don't think anybody will dispute that EMU has seen on average the lowest tuition increases over the past 3 years. I think what is outrageous is that EMU has enough money for a sub-par football team managed by a coach making $380k/year, and a newly hired Women's Basketball coach making $170k/year plus a chance at $80k in bonuses. You cannot tell me that costs are increasing that much every year, especially not 20.2% over 5 years as a previous poster stated. While looking at the past three years makes the numbers look a lot better, they are of course heavily skewed by the 0-0-0 program.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

I remember seeing all the 0-0-0 billboards around town when they were trying to lure students to EMU. Didn't the students that were fooled by this marketing campaign realize that although it was at 0%, the next time tuition increased, they were going to make sure they made up for the 0% campaign? I still believe that the best bang for your buck is at WCC - low tuition rates and some of the best instructors around!


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

EMU is not the only univ that has to increase their tuition. I'm a Grad student there and I will happily just pay the relatively fair increase so I can get my Master's in 2013. WCC is a good community college, but don't you dare compare it to EMU.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

"I still believe that the best bang for your buck is at WCC" Good luck earning a bachelors degree or higher there.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

"In five years, resident tuition and fees at EMU has increased ...20.2 percent." How much longer can we kep doing this? 20% every five years? How about we cut foreign aide to countries that hate us 10% each year and use it to fund higher ed ... who would possibly think this is a bad idea?


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

I don't think it was a snipe at EMU, it's a snipe at Federal foreign policy. I agree - fund our education - so we don't fall behind.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

In 3 years the state has cut $14 M from EMU's appropriation. It's easy to snipe at EMU for raising tuition, why don't you snipe at the state for all the mindless tax cuts which are damaging all of our Public schools and universities.


Tue, Jun 19, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

At least they have $170k for a Women's Basketball coach!