Frequently asked questions
Q: Why did Wayne State raise tuition?
A: Wayne State has a history of being both a major research university and a university of opportunity, where students from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds are given a chance to succeed in an environment of academic excellence. That requires us to be especially thoughtful about balancing affordable tuition with the investments necessary for Wayne State to remain a prominent public research university. The combination of declining state funding and our history of affordability has made achieving this balance increasingly difficult. We have reached a point where we must invest in our students and our facilities.
State funding to Wayne State has declined by $147 million since 2002. At the same time, Wayne State has managed its tuition increases, ensuring it remained among the lower cost Michigan Public Universities (MPUs) and the most affordable of Michigan’s major research universities. The average annual tuition increase for MPUs over the last 30 years is 6.7 percent, compared to 5.9 percent at Wayne State. This year’s tuition increase is an important step in addressing declining state appropriations and reconciling a funding gap that has grown wider over the last decade.
Q: Is Wayne State profiting from this increase?
A: No. Wayne State is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to create knowledge and prepare our students to excel in an increasingly complex and global society. This increase will be invested in areas that help our students succeed and improve our research.
Q: How much will tuition cost in 2013-14?
A: Tuition will increase $904 per year for resident undergraduate students taking 30 credit hours. This equates to an 8.9 percent increase. Even with the increase, Wayne State expects to remain relatively affordable among MPUs and the state’s most affordable major research university.
Q: What added value will I receive as a student because of this increase?
A: First, students continue to benefit from attending a world-class research university that provides excellent education, experience in research and the opportunity to learn in Midtown Detroit, a microcosm of the real world.
To ensure WSU remains an excellent university and continues to provide an opportunity for students to enhance their success, it is necessary that we upgrade our facilities, which includes improvements in classrooms and labs.
Students also will benefit from increased funding to retention initiatives that are already under way, including investing in additional advising. Twenty-two new advisors have been hired as part of this retention initiative, and more hiring is planned. The advisors will help students succeed.
Our growing Learning Communities initiative also enhances the undergraduate experience by providing dynamic, focused communities in which students, staff and faculty learn and grow together.
We also plan to create an Office of Multicultural Affairs that will both help retention and enhance the culture of the entire campus community.
Q: Who made the decision to raise tuition?
A: After months of research, analysis and discussion, Wayne State’s Board of Governors determined this tuition increase was necessary to allow the University to invest in critical areas and establish a firm foundation for the future.
Q: What has Wayne State done to cut its expenses?
A: Wayne State is implementing $19 million of reductions in the 2014 fiscal year. Over the past decade, we have reduced our operating expenses by $80 million through actions such as: cutting jobs, streamlining operations, introducing new purchasing procedures, freezing hiring and salaries, consolidating colleges and implementing energy conservation measures.
Q: Is there financial aid from Wayne State that can help me offset the increased cost of tuition in 2013-14?
A: Wayne State has consistently been committed to providing its students with financial support, and we will continue that practice by increasing institutional financial aid by 11 percent, or $6.2 million, for the 2014 fiscal year. The new funding will increase institutionally-funded financial aid to $62.2 million — a 231 percent increase since 2002 and a 78 percent increase since 2007.
Our total financial aid budget, including loans, is approximately $350 million.