On Tuesday, Oakland University announced it would increase tuition by 8 percent starting in the fall semester. The drastic tuition increase is well above the state-imposed cap of 3.2 percent that colleges must meet in order to receive their performance-based aid from the state. OU joins Eastern Michigan University — which increased its tuition 7.8 percent in mid-June — in being the only colleges in Michigan to forfeit their performance-based aid by increasing tuition well above the cap. In 2013, Wayne State University similarly increased its tuition by 8.9 percent. These exuberant increases help to highlight inefficiencies in the current higher education funding system. The state legislature must alter the performance-based aid in order to ensure students are able to access the education they deserve.

Gov. Rick Snyder introduced the performance-based education funding system when he first took office in 2011. The budgetary system is popular throughout the United States, with 34 states utilizing it in some form because it aims for schools to graduate as many students as possible, as efficiently as possible. In Michigan, higher education appropriations makes up 1.7 percent of the School Aid Fund and performance-based funding makes up about 5 percent of the aid schools receive from the School Aid Fund. The model was introduced by supporters who believe performance-based funding will motivate schools to adhere to state standards and practices in higher education.

However, according to students and faculty at OU, WSU and EMU, the current performance-based aid isn’t always beneficial to the higher education cause. WSU President M. Roy Wilson criticized the performance funding system, claiming that it penalizes the university for having a more inclusive enrollment policy and doing a large amount of research. Furthermore, students from EMU are worried about how they will be able to pay for the increased cost their colleges now require from their students.

Performance-based funding clearly isn’t working if universities are willing to forgo the funding to obtain enough money to provide the necessary resources to maintain operations. This “all-or-nothing” mentality of this funding system has forced universities’ hands to burden their students unnecessarily. If a performance-based model is going to continue, colleges must be rated against similar institutions; WSU caters to a different type of student than OU or the University. There needs to be understanding and accommodations when it comes to funding. If the state of Michigan wants to reward based on performance, it should look at the bigger picture.

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