Students react to increase in tuition
Danielle Block is concerned her parents will struggle paying for her two little sisters' college if tuition keeps increasing.
"My sister is a freshman here, so that's added stress for my parents," the Grandville senior said. "I have another sister in high school, so who knows what (tuition) will be like then."
Block's worry is in response to a 2.6 percent increase in tuition for undergraduate students, approved Thursday morning by the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees. Tuition was set at $395 per credit hour for 2015-16. During 2014-15, tuition was $385 per credit hour.
Some students said the increase would not be damaging to their college finances. Connecticut sophomore Caroline Fitzpatrick said the increase might not require her to cut back on other expenses.
"If it's that small of an amount of money, it won't make that much of a difference, but if it keeps increasing every year (I might have to cut back)," Fitzpatrick said.
President George Ross said students should keep in mind increases in tuition are an investment in students and faculty. He said students should write to their legislatures, because CMU only receives 17 percent of its funding from state government.
"We take no pleasure in increasing tuition," Ross said. "It's an investment in quality. The largest investment in tuition increase will be an additional $6 million in student aid."
Frankenmuth freshman Kayla Knoll takes 17 credits per semester. After factoring the tuition increase into her credit hours, Knoll will pay an additional $170 next year. If tuition continues going up, Knoll said she may have to take out student loans.
"I planned on not having to take out loans, but I'm going into secondary education and that's a lot of credits," she said. "It might change things. Probably no more Starbucks."
Upperclassmen have seen an increase in tuition every year they have attended CMU. In 2011, when most of today's college seniors graduated high school, tuition was $346 per credit hour. A senior taking 12 credits in 2011 would have paid $4,152, while a student taking 12 credits in 2015-16 will pay $4,740.
Students dislike an increase in tuition, but some look at how CMU compares to other Michigan universities.
"My mom might not care because my brother went to State," said Milford senior Rachel Crawford. "It's already cheaper to go here."
Michigan State University ranks third for highest on-campus, in-state cost for undergraduates. At MSU, students pay $23,958 to attend. CMU ranks 11th, with students paying $21,226, followed by University of Michigan-Flint.