State higher ed budget includes slight increase in U-M funding


State funding for the three University of Michigan campuses will increase slightly under a fiscal year 2020 budget that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed just hours before the budget deadline Sept. 30.

The spending plan allocates $322.8 million, up 0.6 percent, for the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus. UM-Dearborn will receive $26.3 million, up 1 percent, and UM-Flint will receive $23.9 million, up 1.3 percent. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The increases are far less than the 3 percent increase in overall higher education spending that Whitmer proposed earlier this year.

Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president for government relations, said the approved budget is disappointing, and comes at a time when investments in higher education should be growing.

“We know that in order for our state economy to be strong, we will need a more educated workforce in the years to come,” Wilbanks said. “Unfortunately, this budget falls short in addressing our state’s pressing need and shifts even more of the cost burden to our students and families.”

The full appropriations are contingent on in-state undergraduate tuition increases of no more than 4.4 percent or $587, whichever is greater.

The budget includes maintaining the same funding for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, a grant awarded to students with a qualifying SAT score and demonstrated financial aid, and the Tuition Incentive Program, a financial aid program targeted toward low-income students. Both programs received a $6 million funding increase last year.

The Board of Regents approved the university’s budget in June. Since the state appropriation is less than the amount that was projected, the university will now begin to evaluate options to fill the funding gap.


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