Each of Michigan’s 15 public universities will receive a double dose of one-time funding increases that will add up to 5 percent more than last year’s state appropriation.
Some of the increase — 1 percent — will come as part of a state higher education budget deal between Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican leaders in the Legislature for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
The second part of the increase comes in the form of an additional one-time, 4 percent increase for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
“Higher education is a critical component of providing greater opportunity for Michiganders and greater prosperity for our state,” said Chris Kolb, U-M vice president for government relations. “This spending plan will help the University of Michigan and all of the great universities in our state do what they do best. It is a promising first step toward making the necessary investments in higher education to prepare our students and grow our state.”
The budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 allocates $326.3 million for U-M’s Ann Arbor campus. UM-Dearborn will receive $26.6 million, and UM-Flint will receive $24.2 million.
The full appropriations are contingent on in-state undergraduate tuition increases of no more than 4.2 percent or $590, whichever is greater. This is twice the current rate of inflation.
The additional 4 percent increase in funding for the current fiscal year provides a one-time supplemental payment of $12.6 million for the Ann Arbor campus. UM-Dearborn will receive about $1 million, and UM-Flint will receive about $926,000.
In her budget proposal earlier this year, Whitmer called for a 2 percent increase for higher education in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Board of Regents approved a university budget for Ann Arbor in June that assumed a flat state appropriation and included a 1.4 percent tuition increase for in-state students. It also included a 6.4 percent increase in financial aid that covered the tuition increase for most in-state students with financial need.
The board also approved extending the Go Blue Guarantee — its landmark promise of four years of free tuition for qualifying Michigan residents — to the Dearborn and Flint campuses. Tuition at UM-Dearborn increased by 1.9 percent this year, while UM-Flint opted to freeze tuition and fees.
In addition to university appropriations, the state budget includes a 3.6 percent increase for the Tuition Incentive Program, adding $2.5 million to a state financial aid program targeted toward low-income students.
The budget maintains the same funding for the fourth straight year for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, a grant awarded statewide to students with a qualifying SAT score and demonstrated financial need.
Also included in the spending plan is a requirement that universities with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy provide exemptions for medical reasons, religious convictions and “other consistently held objections to immunization.”
The state will also require universities to submit a report by March 15 on the total number of student exemption requests and requests granted.
U-M currently allows students to apply for medical or religious exemptions.