Survey: CMU students pay 10 percent more than competing institutions

Students at Central Michigan University pay 10.3 percent more to attend school than students at its peer institutions, according to the recently released Michigan Performance Tracker.

The MPT, run by Business Leaders for Michigan, shows the total cost for an on-campus, in-state undergraduate to attend CMU in 2010 was $21,391, while the national average is $19,182. The tracker provides an overview of Michigan's higher education achievement as compared to other universities both statewide and nationally.

CMU’s tuition for the 2012-13 academic year was set at $365 per credit hour for in-state students, an increase of 1.96 percent from the $358 per credit hour students paid during the 2011-12 academic year.

Eastern Michigan University students pay $256 for courses with designators of 499 and below, while Western Michigan University students pay a $4,569 flat rate when taking between 12 and 15 credits, which transfers to about $342 per credit hour, and Grand Valley State University students pay $420 per credit hour when taking 11 credits or less.

Using research made available from Michigan's public universities, it seeks to determine the measures and outcomes Michigan's public universities generate and what aspects can be improved. It works to make Michigan a top higher education center and produce qualities in Michigan universities that will benefit the development of the local economy, according to the MPT website.

According to MPT, in 2010-11 Michigan's public universities had a total enrollment of 301,734 students. Of that, 28,292 students enrolled at CMU, making it the public university with the four highest enrollment for Michigan in those years, behind the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

CMU receives state appropriations per full time equivalent students at a level of $3,699, with an annual growth rate of -3.9 percent. This category is measured using data from fiscal year 2010. The national average for state appropriations is $6,929.

Total full-time equivalent enrollment for CMU from fall 2009 is at a level of 22,816, with an annual growth rate of 0.4 percent. The national average is 9,508.

CMU has a retention rate of 80 percent and placed in the U.S. Public Peers Top 20 Percent in 2010 with 77 percent, when the national average was 71 percent.

CMU's core university expenditures, meaning funds spent on instruction, research, student services, public service, administrative needs and other interests from 2010, total $316,549,340, with an annual growth rate of 0.5 percent. The national average for other public universities is $174,304,075.

CMU's core expenditures are broken down as spending 48 percent on instruction, 2 percent on research, 6 percent on public service, 21 percent on scholarships, academic support and student services, 9 percent on administrative expenditures and 14 percent on other operating expenditures.

CMU's core university revenues from 2010 are $351,883,958, with the national average at $219,691,725. Core university revenues are broken down as gaining 57.4 percent from tuition, 24 percent from state appropriations, 11.5 percent from grants and contracts, 5.5 percent from investment income and 1.6 percent from other core revenues.

In 2010, CMU's total research expenditures were at a level of $7,886,198, with an annual growth rate of 10.5 percent. The national average was $9,884,843, and the U.S. Public Peers Top 20 Percent level was $19,416,581.

For nearly 40 years, public universities have been grouped nationally into peer categories using the Carnegie Classification framework. The framework is based on publicly available data and is the standard for higher education research. Michigan's public universities fall into one of six Carnegie classes.

The classes are Very High Research Universities, High Research Universities, Doctoral Research Universities, Larger Master's Colleges and Universities, Medium Master's Colleges and Universities and Diverse Baccalaureate Colleges.

CMU lands in the Doctoral Research Universities category, meaning the university awards at least 20 doctorates each year but spends less money on research compared to other research universities.

Nationally, other public universities that fall into the same category include Illinois State University, South Carolina State University and Tennessee State University.