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College Tuition

stack of dollar bills
tom_bullock / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Battle Creek mom Lori Truex didn't have the money to pay her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

But she didn't let that stop her. Truex decided to stand on the side of a street asking for donations. Seventy nine days later, she was able to end her panhandling campaign, which she called "One Mom, One Year."

Recent Michigan grads have some of the highest student loan debt on average
KitAy/Flickr / Wikipedia Creative Commons license

Michigan college students who graduated in 2014 had $29,450 in student loan debt on average – the ninth highest in the nation, according to a new study from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

According to MLive.com, Western Michigan, Central Michigan (both shown) and Eastern Michigan spent $72.6 million in institutional funds on athletics, more than the 10 other public universities in Michigan combined
Flickr user Jacob Enos/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

MLive recently published an in-depth look at Michigan's public universities, and how they subsidize sports with tuition dollars. 

What stood out more than anything is the fact that among the schools that offer NCAA-level athletics, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan collectively spend more tuition dollars on sports than the other ten public universities combined. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A pair of bills moving through the state Legislature would increase the number of "promise zones" in Michigan.

The Promise scholarship program lets certain high poverty communities use a combination of private and state money to guarantee college tuition or other post-secondary education funding for local students.

Our host for last night's Issues and Ale, ABC Microbrewery, sits just off of the Eastern Michigan University campus in Ypsilanti. Plus, Washtenaw Community College and the University of Michigan are right down the road. 

So it came as no surprise that our audience had a lot to contribute to our Issues and Ale discussion about college access and affordability.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Aspiring college students will be able to apply for federal financial aid three months earlier than now and submit a previous year's tax return, changes aimed at helping more people pay for school, the White House said.

Under the current system, students planning to start school in the fall of 2017 must wait until January of that year to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The new system will let them complete the form as early as October 2016, the month that marks the traditional start to the college application season.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week marks the one year anniversary since Dr. Mark Schlissel became the University of Michigan’s 14th president.

He took over the job in a somewhat tumultuous time: complaints over high tuition costs, the university’s handling of sexual assaults, and an athletic department under heavy scrutiny.

A piggy bank, stethescope and bundle of one dollar bills
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

This week in Michigan Politics, political analyst Jack Lessenberry talks about a new law affecting school districts in trouble, college tuition hikes, a former inmate healthcare snafu, and Michigan veterans.  

Oakland University Campus
Oakland University

Oakland University is raising tuition by more than 8%, one of the biggest increases by a state school this year.

This means Oakland is busting a state-imposed, 3.2% cap on tuition increases.

Because of that, the school gives up about $1 million in state incentives for schools that stay below that cap.

But the tuition hike should bring in $12 million for the school next year, says Oakland University President George Hynd.

FAFSA

The start of 2015 opened up an opportunity for college-bound students in Michigan and across the nation who need help paying for tuition.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, determines how much financial aid schools can award based on a family's financial situation.

Wayne State University
Wayne State University

Wayne State University is hoping new tuition incentives will push more students to graduate in four years.

Starting next year, Wayne State will offer some full-time students a 30% tuition discount during the spring and summer semesters.

The idea is to encourage students who may need a more staggered courseload during the regular school year to keep taking classes all year.

Wikimedia Commons

Everyone who writes a tuition payment check has one question: Is tuition going up?

Jake Neher, Lansing reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network said that tuition is going up all over the state.

There is a limit to the increase at 3.2%, otherwise institutions will lose state aid.

“Most major universities, other than U of M and MSU, are going right up to that cap in this year’s tuition increases,” Neher said.

Neher said budget leaders and the Legislature may not be too happy about the increase, given that the governor just signed the largest increase in state aid for higher education in years.

The new budget increases higher education spending by about 5.9%.

Neher added that Michigan State University is using a two-tier tuition increase. Tuition for juniors and seniors will go up more than freshmen and sophomores. Neher said that MSU did this because it costs more money to educate seniors.

Funding for the Michigan Tuition Grant Program will also increase 5.9%. This affects students who are in financial need who want to go to private colleges. 

*Listen to full interview above. 

Luke Hayter / Flickr

All honorably discharged military veterans would be guaranteed in-state tuition at Michigan's public universities and community colleges, under a plan that has cleared the State House.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, says the proposed constitutional amendment would benefit the state economically. He says it would attract veterans and their families to live and work here.