News Story

MSU Tuition, Overall Spending Up Big Since 2000; State Funding Down

More spending, higher costs mean more student debt

A Michigan State University official has blamed sharp and ongoing increases in student tuition on the state of Michigan and past legislatures.

The comments of Rick Shipman, executive director for the MSU office of financial aid, appeared in a Lansing State Journal article about student loan debt.

“We did have a few years when the state was really stingy on the allocations, so we ended up doing a larger than expected tuition increase,” Shipman said, according to the news outlet. “That would lead to additional borrowing” – meaning more student borrowing.

Michigan State’s average resident undergraduate tuition and fees came to $7,836 in 1999-2000, when adjusted for inflation and stated in current dollars. By the 2018-19 academic year, the number had risen to $15,645. Tuition and fees have virtually doubled over the past 19 years when adjusted for inflation.

The Legislature appropriated $303.8 million for MSU for the 1999-2000 fiscal year; this was the actual dollar amount, not the inflation-adjusted amount. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, MSU received $281.2 million in state funds.

In contrast, MSU’s revenues have increased from $1.69 billion in 1999-00 (adjusted for inflation) to $2.86 billion in 2017-18. Then they increased slightly over the next two years. This means that even after adjusting for inflation, MSU is taking in an additional $1.17 billion in annual revenue compared to 19 years ago.

Michigan State’s total enrollment went from 43,028 in 1999-2000 to 49,042 in 2017-18.

The financial data comes from the House Fiscal Agency.