An increased investment in financial aid, the university’s focus on student achievement and a change in the tuition structure highlight the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s fiscal year 2021 budget. The Board of Regents approved the plan June 29. 

The $158.3 million operating budget includes an 11.8 percent increase in existing financial aid programs for fiscal year 2020-21. With this increase, nearly 90 percent of the university’s state appropriation will go directly to student aid. 

To align with the university commitment to student success, beginning with the upcoming fall semester, the university has restructured its tuition and fee structure to allow for full-time undergraduate students to take 12 or more credit hours without paying additional tuition.

This “block tuition” structure will allow undergraduate students who take an increased course load to graduate quicker at a reduced tuition rate. Students who complete 15 credit hours per semester will be on track to graduate in four years, versus five or more years, with combined savings of more than $13,500 in tuition costs.

Tuition and fees for full-time, in-state, undergraduate students at UM-Dearborn will increase 1.9 percent to $13,552 per year. The university will provide additional financial aid to ensure that all of the university’s Pell Grant eligible students see no net increase in tuition and fees.

With the transition to the new tuition and fee model, current students, depending on their course load, may see various tuition percentage increases over the prior year. The university will provide all continuing undergraduate Michigan resident students with additional funding so they are only assessed the nominal net 1.9 percent increase in tuition and fees. Out-of-state undergraduate students will see a 4.2 percent tuition increase to $27,520.

“The financial challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the university to make very difficult decisions, we have worked hard to become more efficient and reduce expenses,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso. “With this in mind, we are moving forward with a modest tuition increase, the lowest increase needed to maintain a high-quality Michigan education, support student success and adapt to the uncertainties.” 

The new block tuition structure will not apply to UM-Dearborn graduate students. Tuition and fees will increase for graduate students by 5 percent. 

The university will reduce the registration fee by $200 per semester, aligning fees with the resources and activities available to students, and forgo all parking fees during the 2020-21 academic year. 

President Mark Schlissel also announced he would make a $20 million fund available to be shared by the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses to support student recruitment, retention and graduation. The money will be devoted to student success initiatives identified by each campus’s chancellor and specific to each campus’s strategic priorities.

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