The University Record, July 30, 1997

Tuition to increase by less than 3 percent

Editor's Note: A breakdown of tuition rates is available on-line at:

The rate of increase in tuition for U-M undergraduates will decline for the seventh year in a row under the University's 1997-98 budget, approved by the Regents at their July meeting.

Tuition for all undergraduates--including upper and lower division students, Michigan residents and nonresidents--will rise by only 2.9 percent in the coming academic year. Tuition and fees for in-state, entering freshman will remain below $5,900.

"This is a very conservative budget with a minimal increase in tuition," says Provost J. Bernard Machen. "It represents a commitment on the part of the new administration to keep a Michigan education affordable. We have set tuition rates as low as possible without compromising the quality of our academic programs."

The Ann Arbor campus 1997-98 General Fund budget was set at $828,160,000, an increase of $31,424,000 over the previous year. The budget relies largely on state appropriations and student tuition revenues, and pays for teaching, research, library services, scholarships and fellowships, maintenance and operation of physical properties, among other items.

A major objective of the new budget will be a reduction in administrative costs. As a first step toward achieving this objective, the base budgets for all central administrative units will be held at their 1996-97 levels. Over the course of the next year each of these units will work with the provost to develop a plan for the future, with a goal of an aggregate reduction across the central units by fiscal year 1998-99.

"Recognizing that such planning will take time, and wishing to avoid imposing undue hardship on the employees in these central administrative units, one-time funding will be provided to each such unit to support a merit salary program for FY 1997-98," Machen notes. "The repayment of these funds will be one element in the overall reduction plan that is to be developed during the coming year."

These efforts continue a reallocation program begun in the late 1970s that has "required each administrator across all units to continually reassess the activities in his or her unit, and to reduce those of lower priority in order to provide adequate funding to those of higher priority. Cumulatively, these annual efforts have resulted in the reallocation of more than $100 million." (See related article: "Reducing administrative costs a major goal of budget.")