Michigan State freezes tuition amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Michigan State University on Friday became the second public university in the state to announce it would not raise tuition for the 2020-21 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

MSU President Samuel Stanley said the decision was made because "many families will be facing difficult financial decisions as a result of the pandemic."

Samuel Stanley

 "In freezing tuition rates for the upcoming academic year, we are doing what we can to ensure students can stay in our Spartan family,” Stanley said. “The core of a land-grant university’s mission is to provide access to quality, affordable education for all — no matter the challenge or circumstance.”

Annual tuition and fees for resident undergraduates is $14,524, according to the MSU website. For undergraduates from outside of Michigan, tuition and fees cost $39,830.

MSU tuition is operating under a two-year budget approved in June 2018. The budget established a tuition freeze for all undergraduate students, so rates did not increase for the 2019-20 academic year.

Stanley's announcement means that 2018-2019 rates will continue for a third year, pending approval by the Board of Trustees at its June meeting.

Other actions MSU is taking to address budget shortfalls include reducing travel, changing construction and remodeling projects and reviewing hiring plans. All executives will receive pay cuts of 2% to 7%, based on salary levels, likely through June and maybe for a full year. Stanley is taking a 10% pay reduction, effective immediately.

 In a recent message to faculty and staff, Stanley said, “As we take required actions, we will keep our academic mission at the forefront of all we do. I intend, with your support, to ensure that MSU remains a place where students are excited to enroll, where faculty and staff find fulfilling work and where our community outreach makes a difference every day in Michigan and around the globe.”

Central Michigan University became the first public university in the state to announce a freeze when its board decided this week that it would not increase tuition for students amid the uncertainty around COVID-19.