Posted Friday, June 20

The University’s undergraduate tuition rate will see a 5.6-percent increase during the 2008-2009 academic year. The measure approved by a unanimous vote of the University’s Board of Regents earlier today means that freshmen in-state undergraduates in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts will pay $11,037 to attend the University.

That figure represents an increase from last year’s rate of more than $590 for in-state students.

Out-of-state undergraduate students will see a $1,768 tuition increase, putting a new $33,069 price tag on one year of education at the University.

The regents also approved an additional 5-percent tuition increase for students in the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

The University is expected receive $54 million in additional revenue from new tuition rates.

Along with increases in tuition, the regents approved a 10.8-percent increase in undergraduate financial aid provided by the University’s general fund. The budget now sets aside $107.6 million for financial aid — up from the $99 million awarded from the general fund last year.

The new funding represents an 8.6-percent across-the-board increase in all financial aid.

Provost Teresa Sullivan said the expanded financial aid would ensure every student could have full access to an education at the University. She said the new tuition increase was chosen only after cost-cutting measures were taken and the University’s budget was carefully considered.

“I want to make the case in terms of access: that Michigan tuition is affordable to all Michigan kids,” Sullivan said. “We have had and continue to have a financial aid package that makes it possible for any Michigan resident to attend the university.”

Philip Hanlon, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, said the University has taken more than $117 million in cost-cutting measures over the past five years.

Despite money savers like a paperless admissions process for undergraduates and steps to make University facilities more energy efficient, Hanlon said this year’s general fund budget would still include a 4.54-percent increase in total spending.

Hanlon said this year’s total budget expenditure would be approximately $1.4 billion.

He said this year’s larger budget can be attributed to a several factors, including additional funding to hire 100 new interdisciplinary faculty, a 4-percent increase in existing faculty salaries, rising energy costs and more comprehensive medical benefits for University employees.

Though the newly approved faculty hiring is expected to stretch across the next five years, Hanlon said the new positions would eventually decrease the student-to-instructor ratio to 14.8:1 from its current ratio of 15.1:1.

Hanlon said bringing in more faculty would help keep the University competitive in the area of research. He added that the new hiring initiative would create an enhanced learning environment and give students greater access academic help.

Hanlon said all of the decisions for this year’s budget were based on a projected 2-percent increase in state funding that would allocate roughly $320 million to the University.

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