Editor’s Note: College tuition fight is far from over

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

Michigan lawmakers and some of the state’s public universities are having an ongoing tiff over tuition.

And it’s not ending anytime soon.

Universities have felt the pinch of shrinking state funding, although the last few years the Legislature has gradually increased its investment in higher education.

But the increase isn’t fast enough for some universities. So that’s why Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University recently turned to the easiest way to raise money—hiking tuition. Eastern raised tuition 7.8 percent; Oakland by 8.48 percent.

Lawmakers are miffed the schools made that call; by doing so they’ll give up the performance funding included in the budget for institutions that kept tuition hikes below 3.2 percent.

Yet the politicians shouldn’t be that surprised, since the incentive funding is a fraction of what the schools will get from the bump in tuition.

State Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, chairs the House Appropriations Committee, and has said he’ll hold hearings on this issue in the fall to figure out how to put more “teeth” in the tuition caps—including possibly tying base funding to the cap.

That may be the best way to keep tuition in check going forward.