When it comes to higher education, House Republicans want to make Michigan colleges and universities as accessible as possible. In order to do so, we have to keep tuition affordable for families across the state.
You may be aware that over the past few years, Republicans have made continued increases in base higher education funding, with the understanding that the costs of educating are significant. When the Legislature passed the state budget for this coming year, we also included over a million dollars in incentive funding for those universities that kept their tuition increases to the bare minimum. In the spirit of good partnership and the mutual goal of educating Michigan’s future generations, we put forward a deal that was cognizant of the financial realities of higher education and the students it serves.
Recent news stories have highlighted that, while most of the institutions are happy to participate in the incentive funding, a scant few others have foregone the deal in favor of raising tuition, one by upwards of 8 percent. House Republicans consider this cost crunch to be excessive and burdensome on students. We are publically opposed to these hikes.
It remains to be seen exactly how the Legislature as a whole will choose to respond to the actions of these universities, but House Republicans believe current and future students must be held harmless. We will be pursuing a variety of options, including the possibility of tying a cap on tuition increases to the base funding a university receives.
Universities, like the state itself, must find ways to keep costs down while continuing to provide quality service. House Republicans are open to continuing the dialogue with higher education institutions, so long as those conversations are focused on the needs of families and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars.