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NMU board OKs tuition, new programs

A Northern Michigan University sign is pictured. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University’s Board of Trustees has approved 2024-25 tuition and fee rates that support strategic goals of removing barriers to student access, investing in faculty/staff and infrastructure, and maintaining the university’s financial strength and sustainability.

The cost of attending NMU also will remain competitive, continuing as second-most affordable among the state’s 15 public institutions.

The average resident undergraduate will pay $7,197 per semester beginning this fall, an increase of $351 per semester. Graduate tuition will increase by $34 per credit. All tuition rates will soon be updated at nmu.edu/tuition.

“Because the state budget process has not been finalized, we developed this tuition structure around the governor’s proposed executive budget, which calls for a $1.4 million operational increase for Northern,” said Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration. “We are also in compliance with the tuition restraint cap included in both the House and Senate versions. If that cap is lowered in the final state budget coming out of the conference committee, we will adjust tuition and fees accordingly.”

Leach said NMU is currently planning for strategic investments and projected cost increases for 2024-25. To remove barriers to student access, the university will boost its support of financial aid and scholarships. This includes two relatively new awards: Tuition Advantage, a “last dollar” scholarship that covers the remaining balance after federal, state and institutional funding is applied; and the Bridge Award, which fills the out-of-state tuition gap. NMU will also complete the final stage of phasing out its undergraduate application fee.

Investments in personnel include the memorandum of understanding between the university and the AAUP faculty union, which was ratified by the membership in April. It provides wage increases covering the next two years of the five-year contract. In addition to annual contractual and health care cost increases for faculty and staff, Leach said NMU is adding new positions that align with the university’s strategic goals.

“Other increases factored into the tuition model include lab and classroom supplies; inflationary adjustments for software, supplies and travel; and debt service for new academic facilities,” Leach added. “All of these enhance the teaching and learning environment at Northern.”

“I appreciate the continued alignment with our strategic goals, including investments in faculty and staff, student success and infrastructure,” said Alexis Hart, vice chair and chair of the board’s finance committee. “We are seeing the positive outcomes of these investments through our increases in enrollment. It is important that we continue to invest in the future sustainability and growth of the university.”

Trustees also approved two new academic programs at the Monday special meeting: a bachelor’s degree in elementary education PK-3, 3-6; and a certificate program in crime scene investigation. Both will launch this fall.

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