New data shows Michigan is one of the worst states in the country in financially supporting public universities.
For the Fiscal Year 2019, Michigan ranked 44th nationally in per-resident support for higher education, according to data compiled by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).
The budget breakdown comes to $195.52 per Michigan resident, compared to the national average of $280.60 per resident.
According to a press release from the Michigan Association for State Universities, to get Michigan at the national average level, the state would have to invest almost $850 million more into higher education. By doing so, this could alleviate the financial responsibilities put on students and their families.
Michigan’s 15 public universities have seen their state financial support fall in recent years. In 2001, Michigan ranked 20th nationally in per resident support for public universities, at $230.56 per resident.
In March, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed a 3% increase for the state’s public universities during her initial Fiscal Year 2020 budget, totaling about $45.6 million. However, the GOP-led state Senate proposed a budget that would increase higher education by just 1%, and the GOP-controlled House proposed an even lower increase of just .4%.
“Michigan used to be a leader in valuing higher education,” said Michigan Association for State Universities CEO Daniel Hurley. “We call on lawmakers to recognize their role in improving college affordability and reducing student debt by supporting higher education as Gov. Whitmer proposed in the 2019-20 state budget.”