UM-Dearborn budget prioritizes student aid, investments in workforce

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The University of Michigan-Dearborn will increase its financial aid spending by nearly 25% next year as part of the university’s commitment to student success and academic excellence.

The growth in student support is part of UM-Dearborn’s $165.4 million 2022-23 general fund operating budget approved June 16 by the Board of Regents.

“The fiscal year 2023 budget reaffirms our commitment to student success and accessibility, and it will help create a learning and work environment reflective of Michigan excellence,” said Chancellor Domenico Grasso. “The university has implemented many new programs focused on affordability and pathways to degree attainment. We will continue to invest in priorities that allow our students to realize their dreams with minimal debt.”

Grasso said talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. To keep college accessible for all qualified students, UM-Dearborn will continue to invest in a need-based financial aid model — 95% of the campus’ FY ’23 state funding is allocated to financial aid under the new budget, which includes programs that help high-achieving underrepresented students access a college education.

This year’s budget includes a 3.6% tuition increase for full-time, in-state undergraduate students, which aligns with the Higher Education Price Index and is well below the rate of inflation.

Full-time, in-state undergraduate students will see a $504 annual increase to $14,320. Out-of-state undergraduate students will see tuition and fees of $29,584, or about $1,536 more than last year. The university introduced a block tuition structure in 2020 to encourage and support undergraduate students to take increased course loads and graduate more quickly and economically.

Graduate students will see an increase of about $270 per term for in-state students, or $486 per term for out-of-state students for the typical part-time (six credit hours per term) graduate rate.

Starting last fall, full-time, in-state undergraduate students attending UM-Dearborn automatically qualified for the Go Blue Guarantee full tuition award if they had a family income of $65,000 or less, assets below $50,000 and a high-school grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. More than $5.5 million was awarded in additional aid to support the program, and more than 1,200 students had their tuition and fees covered through grants and scholarships under the guarantee in the 2021-22 academic year.

In addition to the Go Blue Guarantee, UM-Dearborn also has launched several new inclusive financial aid programs available to assist students in reaching their goals:

  • Focus on the Finish supports working adults who complete their associate’s degree under the state of Michigan’s Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect programs.
  • The Dearborn Comeback program allows students who may have left without earning their degree to receive funding to help complete their education.
  • The new Destination Dearborn program will provide expanded support and incentives for students to earn a bachelor’s degree following the completion of their associate’s degree with UM-Dearborn’s community college partners.

Each of these programs has been developed to help the state achieve its goal of having 60% of residents have a college degree or certification by 2030.

The budget for the upcoming fiscal year will allow the university to continue investing in energy efficiency upgrades that support its sustainability and carbon neutrality goals. Projects include analytics-based work that supports the regulation of the campus’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and a Smart Labs initiative in campus research spaces.

Investments in deferred building and infrastructure projects include HVAC replacements, parking structure maintenance, flood mitigation work, and replacing the most critical sections of roofs in the Fieldhouse, Mardigian Library and Fairlane Center. In addition, the university continues to support upgrades in technology to assist and secure remote- and hybrid-teaching models.

The budget includes a merit-increase pool for employees to ensure the university continues to reward and retain its top talent. The merit pool and a minimum $15-an-hour wage for all permanent workers on campus are investments into a dedicated campus workforce that continues to persevere through the pandemic recovery phase and remain committed to UM-Dearborn’s primary mission of student success, Grasso said.

“’Mission first, people always’ remains our guiding principle with all decision making,” Grasso said. “Investments into campus sustainability and its people will allow UM-Dearborn to continue to flourish and be a premier university of choice for a quality education and rewarding work experience.”

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