Gov. Rick Snyder made several proposals for the 2014 fiscal year budget yesterday, including a $24.9 million (2 percent) budget increase for Michigan universities if they meet certain standards.
The Republican governor’s proposed budget would require universities to keep tuition increases to less than 4 percent. The budget could control the amount of state aid universities can receive by measuring their ability to meet performance standards including graduation rates, research and graduates of high-demand programs.
This is following a similar restraint passed by legislation for the current fiscal year, in which Oakland received $45 million in state aid and an additional one time $930,800 tuition-rate bonus for keeping its tuition increase under 4 percent.
“Educating our children is a top priority for families in Michigan, and it should be a top priority in our state budget, as well,” Snyder said. “That’s why I’m proposing an increase in state spending on education, from early childhood all the way through higher education.”
Snyder’s proposal also includes spending $130 million over the next two years for early childhood educational opportunities expansions, $11.5 billion in state funds for K-12 education, a total of $10 million for online learning and $5.8 million for community college operations.
“We certainly applaud the governor’s interest in boosting the state’s investment in higher education, as we know that the people of Michigan will be paid substantial dividends on that investment over time,” said Oakland University President Gary Russi. “We also support Gov. Snyder’s goals to broaden access to college education, improve student retention rates and focus on research with potential to strengthen the state’s economy and overall quality of life. With these issues in mind, we’ll be watching the state’s budget development process closely and advocating the boldest measures the state can take to support Michigan students.”
Oakland’s tuition increase was 2.96 percent for undergraduate students and 2.94 percent for graduate students for the 2012-13 school year. The budget was approved by the OU Board of Trustees on Aug. 6. The increase was the fifth-lowest among Michigan’s 15 public universities and Oakland’s lowest since a 1 percent increase in 2004.