NMU: Students piling in, tuition piling up

Michigan State Roundup

Published September 1, 2007  | September 2007 issue

Northern Michigan University is fighting something of a dual personality complex: It is both wildly popular—with enrollments continuing to climb—and chastised for large tuition increases.

Last fall, NMU set enrollment records and is nearing the threshold of 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students. At the same time, however, the state economy has gone through an extended period of slow growth, and the state Legislature has put the shackles on higher education spending. Thirteen of 15 state universities, including NMU, received less money last year than in 2001.

As a result, NMU decided to raise tuition by 9.3 percent for the coming school year. Annual tuition and fees for state residents for the 2007-08 school year are estimated by the university at about $6,700—more than double the rates charged a decade earlier, according to local news reports. Other institutions have followed suit, including Lake Superior College in Sault Ste. Marie, which raised tuition by 9.3 percent, putting the annual education price tag there about $500 above NMU.

Ronald A. Wirtz