Michigan State University still plans tuition freeze for next fall

Associated Press • Oct 29, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Michigan State University still plans to freeze undergraduate in-state tuition for 2019-20 and roll out a "block" tuition plan that sets one price for most full-time students, according to budget guidelines adopted Friday by the MSU Board of Trustees.

Under the block tuition plan, students will be billed the same for taking 12 to 18 credits hours vs. paying per credit hour. The amount is set on 15 credit hours, which means a price break for students who take more than 15 credits and a cost increase for students who take fewer.

Juniors and seniors majoring in engineering and business will pay $1,084 a year more in tuition, MSU officials said, noting those students command higher starting salaries after graduation.

Both the block tuition plan and the tuition freeze were initially announced at the June 2018 board meeting.

At Friday's meeting, the MSU board approved a resolution calling on the state Legislature to provide additional funding for universities that freeze undergraduate tuition.

Between the tuition freeze and block tuition plan, 2019-20 tuition for full-time, in-state students will be:

Freshmen: $14,460;Sophomores: $14,820;Juniors and seniors: $16,650 for most students, and $17,190 for engineering and business majors.

Students taking fewer than 12 credits or more than 18 will be be charged by the credit hour. Also, the block tuition plan does not apply to graduate or medical students.

"The competition for new students in the future will be intense as the number of high school graduates declines in Michigan and across the Midwest," interim President John Engler said in a press release. "This budget recognizes that tuition costs can't keep rising—we need to put students first by controlling tuition and increasing student aid."

The budget also includes a freeze on pay for all top administrators and deans, a reduction from 2.5 percent to 1.5 percent in average faculty pay increases and no reductions in staff compensation and no university-wide layoffs.

MSU received $286.2 million for its 2018-19 state appropriation, which is 20 percent of its $1.36 million operating budget. 

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