The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the 2010/2011 fiscal year General Fund budget for the University of Michigan-Flint. The total General Fund budget for the UM-Flint campus for the upcoming fiscal year is $89 million, an increase of 8.4 percent over fiscal year 2009/2010. The 2010/2011 budget includes the lowest tuition increase in five years, and increased financial aid for students.
"The budget that has been created for the campus is a combination of strong spending reductions while maintaining investments in our academic programs and student success," stated Chancellor Ruth J. Person. "This budget reflects the expected level of state appropriations to fall to 23 percent of the total university budget. Since 1987, funding from the state of Michigan for UM-Flint has steadily declined from a high of 67 percent. However, through careful planning, we are taking strategic steps to ensure the financial future of the campus."
In a campus-wide effort to mitigate the impact of reduced state funding, the university has implemented spending reductions. An example of strategic cost containment of annual fixed costs includes investing in environmental technology for campus facilities. The university has made a significant investment in infrastructure and energy conservation that has resulted in a freeze of utility costs during the next fiscal year. Also, impacting operational costs are health and dental benefits which will increase a combined 3.4 percent. However, that increase is lower than normal due to a shift to having a larger employee contribution to health care expenses.
"The university has experienced a significant and historical increase in enrollment over the years, making the University of Michigan-Flint the fastest growing public university in the state," said Chancellor Person. "Growth and expansion naturally increase operational costs. However, we are doing all we can to keep costs in line, while continuing to invest in programs that significantly benefit our students and support our institutional mission as one of the three campuses of the University of Michigan."
The Board of Regents also approved a 3.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition and fees, and a 2.9 percent increase in graduate tuition and fees for students at UM-Flint. The new rate for the 2010-2011 academic year represents the lowest tuition increase at UM-Flint in the last five years. A typical in-state, full-time undergraduate student with 15 credit hours will pay an average of $4,301 in tuition and fees per semester in the coming year. The cost of tuition and fees for graduate students varies from program to program. In addition, the Board of Regents approved a 3 percent increase in room and board rates for the First Street Residence Hall.
UM-Flint's budget for 2010-2011 includes a 5.9 percent increase in institutional financial aid. Nearly 70 percent of all UM-Flint students receive some form of financial aid, including need-based, merit, and private scholarships, as well as loans.
The budget for the State of Michigan for the upcoming fiscal year remains in flux. In the event the State reduces the University's appropriation during the 2010/2011 academic year, it will impact the University's ability to maintain its standard of academic quality. In that case, the Chancellor may return to the Board of Regents to recommend a mid-year tuition rate increase.
"We are conscious of the sacrifice that our students and their families make to pay for their education, and that is why we have kept our tuition increase to a minimum level while continuing to provide an exceptional educational experience," said Chancellor Person. "We remain hopeful that our legislature remains committed to the belief that an educated citizenry is the way for the great state of Michigan to thrive into the future and beyond."