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I have been asking the question for years, why has the cost of attending a Michigan public university or college increased anywhere from 200% to 400% more than inflation, almost every year?

The Detroit News is reporting on the Michigan League for Public Policy new study into the cost of Michigan public colleges and universities and found that the cost of tuition on average at Michigan public colleges and universities has doubled since 2003.

The tuition increase since 2003 is as high as 158% at Michigan Technological University to 91% at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

The study found that the average tuition for an in-state student at our public colleges and universities is approximately $12,000 a year, which is the sixth highest in the nation.

Did you know that in the 1990s Michigan ranked in the top 10 states in providing financial assistance to college students we now rank in the bottom half of the country?

The question is: is it fair that our colleges, universities and their supporters consistently blame us taxpayers for not giving them enough money or should they look at their cost structure?

The report found that 62% of the 2014 graduating class from Michigan’s colleges and universities graduated with an average outstanding loan amount totaling $29,450.

The Michigan League for Public Policy made several recommendations, some of them are as follows:

  • Michigan should restore state budget funding that has been cut for public universities.
  • The state should push schools to reduce or freeze their tuition.
  • Michigan should make financial aid grants available to older workers.
  • The state should offer financial aid to students who attend school less than half-time or who are in short-term programs.

What I found interesting is that there does not appear to be a recommendation for Michigan’s colleges and universities to review all of their cost and how they could attempt to reign them in.  Are there unnecessary expenditures that if eliminated could reduce the increase of tuition or possibly decrease it?

I was encouraged to see Governor Snyder addressing this issue as he was quoted in the article stating:

Spending by universities and colleges should be analyzed as well as their incoming revenue

When it comes to cost you must not only look at the funding source but also the cost source.

Let’s talk about this today on The Live with Renk Show which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon. To let me know your thoughts during the show please call (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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