press release


News from Progress Michigan

September 6, 2016

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Report: Michigan Republicans Continue Trend of Defunding Higher Education

Students and families bear the brunt of increased tuition thanks to GOP budget cuts

MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the latest report from the Michigan League for Public Policy showing that the Republican-controlled legislature has continued to underfund higher education throughout Michigan.

“If we’re going to create an economy that works for everyone, we need an education system that doesn’t bury students and families in debt for trying to better themselves with a college degree. That can’t happen when Michigan Republicans continue to have the wrong priorities and put their corporate interests over properly funding our colleges and universities,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Tuition continues to increase year after year for the state’s young people, while billions of dollars in tax breaks are freely given to corporations every year. Michigan Republicans continue to push policies that are making it more difficult for the next generation to get ahead.”

From the report:

Between 2003 and 2015, tuition more than doubled at almost every Michigan university and increased by more than 150% at several schools.

While college costs are rising across the nation, it is particularly bad in Michigan. Michigan universities have raised tuition so much that the state’s average tuition cost was the sixth highest in the nation and second highest in the Midwest during the 2015-16 school year. 

Of Michigan college students who graduated in 2014, 62% graduated with debt. Student debt averaged $29,450, the ninth highest average debt level in the nation and more than $10,000 higher than students in Utah and New Mexico.

The national average of state spending on need-based grants is $533 per FTE undergraduate student, yet Michigan spends only 42% of that amount ($223) and only one-quarter of the $870 that Indiana spends.


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