Eastern Michigan University’s 2017-18 general fund budget highlights commitment to academic programs, student success and financial aid

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University continued to invest in high-demand academic programs, student success and facilities in adopting a General Fund budget Tuesday for the coming academic year. The University also maintained its commitment to provide students with a high quality education at an affordable price by significantly increasing financial aid.

The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved a $307.9 million general fund operating expenditure budget for fiscal year 2018 at its regular meeting Tuesday (June 27).

The University continues to invest heavily in the financial aid support of its students. The expenditure budget for the upcoming year includes $55.5 million in University-sponsored financial aid, an increase of $2.3 million over last year and – over the last 10 years – an increase of $34.1 million or nearly 160 percent from the $21.4 million in aid provided in 2007-2008.

The Board of Regents also approved a tuition and required fees increase of $474 this fall for undergraduate students taking 30 credits a year, which falls within the state of Michigan’s tuition restraint cap to continue receiving the University’s share of the state’s performance funding.

An entering freshman undergraduate taking 30 credits this year – the average annual tuition and fee rate as calculated by the state of Michigan – will pay $12,594 in tuition and mandatory fees at Eastern. The board also approved the elimination of the following mandatory fees: general, technology and the Student Center, and rolling them into the general tuition rate in order to simplify the billing structure for students and their parents.

The Board also approved the implementation of a refundable $35 per semester Rec-IM facility fee, which students can opt out of should they choose not to use the facility.

In addition, the Regents approved continuing a University recommendation, instituted last year, that all non-resident undergraduates entering Eastern in fall 2016 and after be charged at the in-state tuition rate.

Eastern’s tuition continues to compare favorably with its public university peers in Michigan, with the University’s tuition increases over the last nine years averaging 3.8 percent.

"This budget emphasizes our goals of facilitating student success, supporting high-demand academic programs and investing in our facilities and infrastructure while facing the challenges in today’s economy,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. "This budget also focuses on increasing financial aid for students, as well as enhancing funds for facilities that align with high-demand programs, such as the upcoming renovation of Strong Hall. It also illustrates our commitment to responsible stewardship.”

For example, as more students pursue degrees in the fields of health and human services, the University’s investment in those areas has increased in terms of faculty and facilities. This year’s capital budget includes $10 million in funding for renovation of Strong Hall, which the Michigan Legislature approved for an additional $30 million in capital outlay support last year.

Strong Hall is part of Eastern's Science Complex, which includes the Science Complex addition and Mark Jefferson Hall. Strong Hall currently houses key science programs and is a crucial academic facility on Eastern’s campus; more than 25 percent of the University’s STEM lab classrooms are in the building.

Revenues in the FY18 budget include $214.8 million in tuition and fees, a $75.2 million state appropriation, plus $17.9 in other revenues such as from extended programs and facility rentals. During the last nine years, despite significant cutbacks in state funding, Eastern Michigan has undergone an unprecedented period of capital reinvestment in its academic and student-centered facilities.

Such improvements have resulted in significant enrollment gains in new freshman students. Last fall, Eastern enrolled the third largest freshman class in the University’s history. Another large incoming freshman class is currently enrolling for fall 2017. Since fall 2010, when the University enrolled a total of 2,002 new freshmen, the entering class has grown by 39 percent.

The Board of Regents Tuesday also approved an auxiliary activities fund operating budget of $54.9 million for 2016-2017. The budget includes revenues and expenditures associated with EMU's athletics department, dining services, residence halls, apartments and parking.

The Athletics Department FY18 budget shows revenues of $6.4 million, an increase of about $900,000 over this past year’s budgeted revenue. General fund support for athletics is $11.7 million for the coming year, down $1.3 million from $13 million in 2016-17. Over the past two years, Athletics has increased its revenues by nearly 22 percent while reducing General Fund support by 15 percent.

Athletics was moved to the auxiliary operating budget last year, following recommendations from the University Budget Council and a student and faculty report on the University budget.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

June 27, 2017

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom