Michigan Feels Strain Of College Costs

Ann McClure's picture

Declining state aid and rising costs have made getting a top-notch education in Michigan among the most expensive in the country, gobbling up parents' savings and saddling graduates with tuition bills that typically are far higher than their peers across the country, according to a Detroit News analysis of national education statistics.

At the University of Michigan, one year's tuition is now equal to more than 26 percent of the state's median household income — more than double what it is in Florida. In 2010-11, U-M's in-state tuition and fees hit nearly $11,837, according to the National Center for Education Statistics; the University of Florida charged state residents $5,044, or just 11 percent of median household income.

Even though state and business leaders continue to preach the need for a highly skilled, well-educated work force to ensure Michigan adapts to a move away from manufacturing in the wake of the devastating recession, the impact of the economic downturn continues to resonate.

As other states poured billions more into their university systems over the last decade, Michigan was forced to cut $300 million.

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