A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has the 16th highest cost to produce a degree at a four-year public colleges in the country at $129,206, according to data compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

“That’s outrageous,” said Bill Mohr, chairman of the U.S. Taxpayers Party of Michigan. “The first question that comes to mind is, ‘Why?’ We really need to look at what that money is going for.”

The average cost of a degree in the state of Michigan was $75,879 at four-year public colleges, 21st highest in the country. Florida had the lowest cost at $40,505. Washington, D.C., had the highest cost at $154,057.

Wayne State University had the second-highest cost in the state at $97,665. Central Michigan University had the lowest cost in Michigan at $43,384.

The most expensive place to get a degree was Yale, which cost $502,748.

The project included spending that was “considered to be educational in nature, either directly or indirectly," and included "instruction, research, public service, student services, academic support, institutional support, operations, and maintenance.”

Spokesmen for Michigan State and the University of Michigan didn’t return emails seeking comment.

MSU’s cost of $75,739 was second-lowest in the Big Ten. Only Nebraska was lower at $73,331.

Michael Van Beek, education policy director at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said a school that spends less per completed degree is more effective from a taxpayers’ perspective,

“There are a lot of colleges that get students degrees without spending as much,” Van Beek said.

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