WMU increases aid offers as tuition and housing costs rise

(Watch this story Monday morning on WZZM TV 13) Western Michigan University (WMU) announced an increase in tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year while simultaneously offering an aid increase equivalent to 1 million dollars in need-based scholarships.

The 2022-23 Tuition and Financial Aid Plan approved by the WMU Board of Trustees on June 23 will see tuition and required fees for undergraduate and graduate students increased by 3.85% while need-based aid will increase by 4.27%, or $1 million.

On the same day, WMU approved new housing rates for 2022-23 that will increase costs by 2% for students housed on campus.

Representing approximately 73% of the university’s $407 million overall operating budget, tuition fees are the primary source of revenue funding UMF’s activities, staff, and services, including teaching and l learning, health center services, library services and public safety.

While increasing tuition and living expenses, WMU simultaneously approved a 4.27% increase in need-based scholarships, the largest scholarship expansion in the university’s history. The increase in aid is due in part to last year’s Empowering Futures donation, a $550 million gift given to WMU by alumni in the spring of 2021.

Combined with institutional aid, WMU’s funds for financial support outweigh the upcoming tuition and pension increase, according to WMU officials. For the upcoming academic year, the university is offering incoming freshman scholarships, transfer, institutional, and athletic scholarships, as well as departmental and endowed donor scholarships.

While state appropriations for higher education remain at the proposal stage, the increase approved by administrators on June 23 falls below the tuition cap levels in the governor’s proposed funding plans, the House and the Senate.

Going into the 2022-23 academic year, Western is expected to place in the middle of the state’s 15 public universities in terms of affordability. A newly admitted full-time Michigan resident freshman will pay $13,950 in tuition and required fees for the upcoming academic year, an increase of $516 from the previous year.

“First and foremost, our concern is for our students,” said Lynn Chen-Zhang, chairwoman of WMU’s board of trustees. “In determining tuition and other fees, we balance two imperatives: maintaining a high-quality learning environment and maintaining accessibility.

“We strive to keep attendance as affordable as possible while providing an exceptional educational experience for students. Our students deserve top faculty to teach them, modern technology to support their learning, and comprehensive services to meet their holistic educational needs.

In 2022-2023, the annual cost of accommodation and meals in a traditional double-room residence hall with a 14-meal plan option will be $5,272.50 per semester for a total of $10,545 per year. The university’s Bronco Gold Plus meal plan, which provides students with unlimited meals in any dining hall, is $5,551 per semester for an annual rate of $11,102, while its plan room only and no meals is $2,834.00 per semester, or $5,668 per year.

In addition to increases in residence hall rates, the rent for apartments on the WMU campus will also increase. Residents of Stadium Drive and Western View apartments will see their rent increase by 3.75%. A per person rate for a two-bedroom apartment in Western View will increase by $23 per month, while a per-person rate for a two-bedroom apartment in Stadium Drive will increase by $16 per month.

Arcadia Flats, the newest housing complex on campus, will see no rate increases for the 2022-23 academic year. The price of this complex has remained constant since its opening in January 2021.

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