Trustees vote to keep WMU's tuition within the state cap

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich—Western Michigan University trustees voted June 3 to keep the University's 2015-16 tuition and fees under the state's tuition restraint request, ensuring WMU remains Michigan's most affordable research university.

Acting in formal session, WMU trustees approved a recommendation to increase tuition and required fees for 2015-16 by 3.2 percent. The increase includes a Student Assessment Fee increase of $16 per semester that was initiated by students and approved in a March campuswide referendum. The intent of the $16 per semester increase is to provide additional support for student organizations and programs.

Effective with the start of the fall 2015 semester, annual costs for a full-time Michigan freshman or sophomore to attend WMU will be $11,029—$344 more than the previous year's cost.

Best value in the state

WMU President John M. Dunn notes the tuition move will keep WMU as the best value in the state, retaining its position as having the lowest cost of attendance of any of Michigan's five research universities. Despite its status, complexity and high number of degree offerings—more than 250—WMU has consistently been in the lower half of Michigan's public universities in terms of cost of attendance-ranking ninth out of 15 last year.

"We will continue to ensure we offer our students enormous value, a wealth of opportunity, the resources that can only be found at a research university and an environment focused on their success," Dunn says. "It's a balancing act that requires strategic investment in personnel and physical infrastructure, with the needs of our students at the center of our decision-making."

While a full-time Michigan freshman or sophomore will pay $11,029 annually to attend WMU, the new tuition rates mean a full-time, out-of-state freshman or sophomore will pay $25,713 for the full academic year. Resident and nonresident graduate students will pay $530.31 and $1,123.24 per credit hour, respectively.

For undergraduate students, the term "full-time" refers to students taking 12 to 15 credit hours per semester. Students who take more than 15 credits will be assessed a per-credit-hour cost for each credit above the 15-credit level. Students who take fewer than 12 credits pay on a per-credit basis, as well. The per-credit-hour rate for Michigan residents at the freshman or sophomore level is set at $349.47.

A complete outline of tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year plus a tuition calculator will be posted by the end of the June 3 business day at

In related action, WMU trustees also approved a 3.2 percent increase in tuition and required fees for students enrolled in WMU's Extended University Programs. That increase applies to students taking courses online or at WMU regional locations. For undergraduate online courses, the per-credit-hour rate will be $349.47 plus a $60 per-credit-hour fee for 100 percent online courses.

For courses at EUP regional locations, the cost will be  $417.60 per credit hour for undergraduate courses. The cost will be $590.33 per credit hour for graduate courses taught either in person at regional locations or online. A $20 per class technology fee will continue for these face-to-face and graduate online classes.

Carnegie classification

Western Michigan University is one of five Michigan universities categorized as "high" or "very high" research universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. WMU is second only to the University of Michigan in the number of bachelor's degree programs it offers and is one of only four Michigan universities authorized to shelter its own chapter of academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa.

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Other news from the June 3 Board of Trustees meeting
Board approves WMU 2015-16 operating budget of $388 million | June 3, 2015
WMU trustees approve faculty tenure and promotions | June 3, 2015