Whether two Michigan universities complied with legislative directives on holding down tuition — or pulled a fast one by finding a loophole in the rules — remains a matter of hot dispute in Lansing.
Whatever the outcome of that debate, the problem is much bigger than one-year funding for two universities. The problem is the cost of higher education overall, and whether or not that cost is growing beyond the reach of ordinary people. That is a problem for lawmakers and university leaders to tackle.
At issue in the Legislature right now is whether Michigan State University and Wayne State University violated tuition restraints enacted as part of university funding for the coming fiscal year.
The Legislature cut university funding by 22 percent. But lawmakers agreed to hold that figure to 15 percent if individual universities kept tuition increases below 7.1 percent for the coming academic year.