Rebuttal: Costs go up, but EMU remains affordable
Several important points were omitted in Ingrid Jacques’ June 17 Editor’s Note: “Thinking EMU? Think again.”
With the tuition increase, Eastern remains 13th least expensive out of the 15 Michigan universities; 12 Michigan universities charge more for tuition than Eastern, and only two charge less.
In addition, Eastern Michigan has a long history of tuition restraint. Dating back the last six years, Eastern’s tuition and fee increases have been 3.2 percent, 3.75 percent, 3.95 percent, 3.65 percent, 0 percent and 3.82 percent.
The state of Michigan did not begin instituting a tuition cap into its metrics until 2012, for the 2012-13 academic year. In the three years prior to that, Eastern was still holding tuition increases to 3.7 percent, 0 percent and 3.8 percent while its public university counterparts were increasing tuition by as much as 9 percent during that time. Eastern Michigan was practicing tuition restraint well before it became a wide matter of discussion in Michigan.
Eastern has maintained such singular affordability during a significant shift in state funding for education, including a reduction of 15 percent in state support four years ago.
Here is a look at how Eastern’s tuition for an entering undergraduate freshman compares with some of its public university peers in Michigan. Figures in parentheses indicate last year’s tuition and that the institution has yet to set next year’s tuition rates.
■ Michigan State: $13,850, $3,433 more than EMU
■ Central Michigan: $11,850, $1,433 more than EMU
■ Wayne State:($11,448), $1,031 more than EMU
■ Western Michigan: $11,336, $919 more than EMU
■ Grand Valley: ($10,752), $335 more than EMU
■ Oakland: ($10,613), $196 more than EMU
While Eastern remains among the state’s most affordable options, it is not all about dollars. We have more than 200 academic programs, with outstanding faculty who help lead our students to fine careers. Eastern’s Career Center recently reported a 93 percent placement rate for graduates. A recent market study by Deloitte found that 72 percent of Eastern’s undergraduate degrees are in high growth-high wage occupations in programs in the sciences, technology and business.
We have had record undergraduate enrollment growth and are graduating more students than ever before. Academics are a priority – our Honors College has doubled in size and is the largest it has been in University history with more than 1,400 students, with a minimum 3.7 GPA. Growth has been so significant that we announced this week plans to purchase a new building, the former Holy Trinity Chapel adjacent to campus, to house the expanding Honors program.
And indeed, as enrollment of new freshmen continues to grow, we are noting higher GPAs of all incoming students with an average of 3.27, up from 3.05 in 2010.
Another large and possibly record-setting incoming freshman class is currently enrolling for fall 2016. Applications and admissions are considerably higher than a year ago. So, contrary to the headline, Eastern is an excellent choice and more prospective students agree.
Walter Kraft, vice president for communications, Eastern Michigan University