Dear UM-Dearborn Students,
Last week I shared details with you regarding the university’s plan for the fall 2020 semester. These plans reflect our commitment to promoting public health, outstanding teaching and an excellent learning environment. While most of our activities will be remote during the fall semester, I want to assure you that we are committed to providing you the academic excellence that you expect from University of Michigan-Dearborn.
This fall, classes that require a large proportion of in-person instruction to be successful will meet on campus, and other courses may be taught in a hybrid model, when some in-person experiences are required. University leaders and our committed faculty have been working to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion remains an important component of course designs. As a university, we will continue to work to ensure accessibility and ameliorate potential unequal impacts on students during this temporary change in instruction.
This evening, during a special University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting to discuss the university budget, the Regents affirmed the UM-Dearborn’s commitment to student success, academic excellence and creating access and opportunity for qualified students, with the approval of the university’s $158.3 million 2020-2021 general fund operating budget. The budget includes an 11.8 percent increase in financial aid. With this increase, approximately 89 percent of our $26.3 million state of Michigan budget appropriation will go directly to you, our students, via financial aid.
To align with the university's commitment to student success, beginning with the fall 2020 semester, the university has restructured tuition policies to permit full-time undergraduate students to take 12 or more credit hours without paying additional tuition (300/400 course level charges per credit hour will still be assessed). This “block tuition” structure will encourage undergraduate students to take increased course loads and graduate more quickly at a reduced tuition rate. Students who complete 15 credit hours rather than 12 or fewer per semester will be on track to graduate in four years, versus five or more years, resulting in savings of more than $13,500 in tuition costs. Go here for additional FAQs about the move to block tuition.
In addition, all students will see a reduction in their registration fee by $200 per semester. This shift will align fees with the resources and activities available to students. For the 2020-2021 academic year, recognizing that the campus environment will be different in the fall and to help reduce the financial burden on students during the coronavirus pandemic, the university will forgo all parking fees for students, faculty and staff.
During these challenging times, the university has worked hard to become more efficient, reduce expenses and keep our tuition as low as possible. Since April, the university leadership team has voluntarily reduced their salaries, instituted a voluntary furlough program, frozen all reserve funds in the colleges and units, halted travel and tuition reimbursement for non-UM programs, stopped all non-essential construction work and reduced expenditures on utilities, general supplies, vendor services and other non-critical expenses.
With this in mind, we are moving forward with the lowest tuition increase needed to maintain a high-quality Michigan education and adapt to uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and state funding.
Tuition and fees for full-time, in-state, undergraduate students at UM-Dearborn will increase 1.9 percent or $124 per semester. Tuition and fees for one year of study at UM-Dearborn will total $13,552. We are not increasing undergraduate curriculum-specific fees for upper-level courses for 2020-2021. You can view the undergraduate tuition and fee schedule here.
In addition, as the university maintains our commitment to ensuring access to a UM-Dearborn educational experience, we will provide additional financial aid to ensure that all of our pell-eligible students see no net increase in tuition and fees.
As we transition to a new model for tuition and fees, current students, depending on course load, may see various percentage increases over the prior year. In order to ensure our commitment to affordability, the university will provide all continuing undergraduate Michigan-resident students with additional financial aid to ensure they are only assessed the nominal net 1.9 percent increase in tuition and fees.
The budget also contains a 4.2 percent tuition increase for out-of-state undergraduate students that will increase tuition and fees to $27,520, or about $1,100 more than last year, for the full-time lower-division rate.
The new block tuition structure does not apply to UM-Dearborn graduate students. Tuition and fees will increase for graduate students by 5 percent, or about $400 annually, for in-state students, or $1,000 annually, for out-of-state students, for the typical part-time (6 credit hours per term) graduate rate.
The university is also identifying ways to assist students with financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides financial assistance to those who have been adversely impacted by the disruption of campus operations caused by the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis. All students are eligible if they have a valid FAFSA (there is still time to file) and were enrolled in a program that met on-campus prior to the transition to remote delivery due to COVID-19. Eligible students should complete the application for COVID-19 emergency assistance. Under these guidelines. International students and students enrolled exclusively in an online program are not eligible to receive funding but can still apply to our Student Immediate Relief Fund.
During the meeting, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced he would make a $20 million fund available to be shared by the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses as “part of our ongoing commitment to our regional campuses to help them best serve their students and the state.” The funds will be devoted to student success initiatives identified by each chancellor and specific to each campus’s strategic priorities. As I have mentioned often, student success is the keystone that overarches our core mission and strategic planning efforts. I hope to soon share how we will apply these funds in ways that best serve you, our students.
As you all know, the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the university to make difficult decisions. UM-Dearborn remains committed to aligning our budget with our top priorities: maintaining the academic quality of a Michigan degree, supporting student success, creating access and opportunity for highly qualified, talented and motivated students who may lack the means to attend college, and ensuring an engaging, productive and safe learning and working environment for our students, faculty and staff.
To help the UM-Dearborn community better understand our budget decisions, we have posted information to our website. In the coming weeks, students enrolled for fall 2020 will receive an email when their tuition charges, and any applicable financial aid, are ready for review.
We understand you may have questions as to what the fall 2020 semester will look like, the new tuition structure and the need for a tuition increase. We hope you will join us for a virtual student town hall on Wednesday, July 15, from 1-2 p.m. During the session we will share more details regarding the fall plan and address your questions and concerns. Please register for the event and submit a question in advance here.
Go Blue - Go Dearborn!