LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Being a college student in Michigan today is harder financially than it was just a few years ago.
That was the overall message from a report released today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
This report looked at all 50 states since 2008.
Michigan falls right in the middle when it comes to cutting funding to state colleges and university.
However, the Lansing-based Michigan League for Public Policy looked at the same topic, only going back even further to 2003 and the results are alarming.
The state legislature has cut 600 million dollars to Michigan’s colleges and universities since 2003.
Public universities receive funding from three main sources, the state, tuition and from donors.
The state has a program called “tuition restraint” which allows more funding dollars to the university if they keep tuition below a certain percent.
Even that money heading to the state college is nowhere close to the amount of cash given to them back in 2003.
That’s a trend that officials say needs to be reversed.
“Millennials aren’t buying diamonds, Millennials aren’t buying houses, Millennials aren’t buying cars. why do you think that is? Maybe they have high student loans to pay back. Almost all of them, paying back student loans is a big part of their monthly budget. That’s money they they’re not spending in Michigan businesses.” Senior Policy Analysis with Michigan League for Public Policy said.
Ruark says the legislature should be a model for other states, and come up with a plan to give that money back.
He says hopefully then the colleges and universities will lower tuition.