Western Michigan University Takes In Over $3 Million In First Year Charging 'Differential Tuition'

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, April 23, 2012

Western Michigan University has collected more than $3 million in the first year since its move to a new tuition scale that charges business and fine arts students more than other students, even when taking the same class.

University officials say instituting "differential tuition" has allowed them to hire new faculty, boost scholarships, develop new programs and improve the quality of education for students. Some students say it's unfair to have to pay more than a classmate for the same course.

The WMU Board of Trustees last year approved charging differential tuition for students of the College of Fine Arts and juniors and seniors in the Haworth College of Business.

Under the rates that took effect last fall, upper-level business majors pay $40 more per credit hour, while fine arts majors pay $50 more. Students in those colleges who need general education or elective courses for graduation must pay the higher rate for any class, not just courses associated with their majors.

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