Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about tuition. 

Q. What is the current cost of tuition at the University of Michigan-Dearborn?

Most in-state freshmen who started classes in Fall 2019 paid $13,304 annually, including fees, in tuition for the 2019-20 academic year, based on 15 credit hours per semester for two semesters. Some additional fees may apply based on course selection, such as course fees or online fees.  The Registration Assessment (which is included in the tuition noted above) covers, but is not limited to, student services such as technology, career services, student organizations/engagement, counseling, parking and athletics/recreation. How much a student actually pays depends on the amount of financial aid they receive. Also, the exact amount of tuition may vary due to the college and program in which the student enrolls and also by the student’s current class standing.


Q. How much will tuition increase for the 2020-21 academic year?

On June 29, 2020, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved a 1.9 percent tuition increase for full-time, in-state, undergraduate students. This equates to $13,552, per year, based on 15 credit hours per semester. That’s $248 more annually than this year’s costs.

To align with the university's commitment to student success, beginning with the fall 2020 semester, the university has restructured tuition policies to allow for 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 allow all undergraduate students who elect to take a larger course load to graduate more quickly at a reduced tuition rate. Students who complete 15 credit hours versus 12 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. Check out additional FAQs about the change to block tuition. In addition, all students will see a reduction in their registration fee by $200 per semester.

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 full-time lower-division rate.

The new block tuition rate structure does not apply to graduate students as most graduate students on the Dearborn campus attend part-time. 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. Graduate students will, however, see their registration fee reduced to $200 from $400 per semester. 

How much a student actually pays depends on the amount of financial aid they receive. The exact amount of tuition also may vary due to the college or program in which the student enrolls and by the student’s current class standing.


Q. What does tuition money pay for at the university?

Tuition pays for the core academic mission of the university. This includes expenditures such as instruction, financial aid, academic advising, libraries, computing centers, maintenance of infrastructure and other student support services. Tuition represents approximately 82 percent of the university’s general fund budget in FY2021. The balance of the general fund budget is supplemented by state appropriations, philanthropic support, investment income, indirect cost recovery and departmental activities.


Q. Why does UM-Dearborn tuition increase?

Tuition helps support learning opportunities, quality teaching, undergraduate research experiences and the respected scholarships that make a UM-Dearborn education a sound investment. Core expenses, including building costs, instructional materials and employee compensation also impact tuition rates. UM-Dearborn is experiencing increased costs in these core expenses, although the rate of growth in these costs has been tempered by rigorous cost cutting. Through prudent fiscal management we are committed to maintaining the high standards of the university and to supporting its priorities and initiatives, including financial aid, which will help prepare students for success.

Maintaining the excellence of our educational programs and ensuring access to the university for students from all economic backgrounds are among UM-Dearborn’s top priorities. Accordingly, we have steadily increased financial aid awarded each year for students for merit, as well as for those students with demonstrated need.

The annual appropriation from the state of Michigan also plays a key role in setting tuition and fees. In the 1970s, state funding comprised 80 percent of UM-Dearborn’s general fund budget—the budget that pays for the university’s core academic programs. In the 2020-21 academic year, state funding is expected to represent approximately 15 percent of the general fund budget. The UM-Dearborn state appropriation, as adjusted for real dollars, has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade, while the Consumer Price Index and Employment Cost Index has risen each year. As a result, UM-Dearborn, as well as all Michigan public universities, have experienced significant budget pressure to serve students with less dollars. During the upcoming year the state of Michigan could reduce its support for higher education due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on state revenues. This possibility has presented UM-Dearborn with the need to evaluate our instruction, research, student services, and campus operations  to provide students with excellent educational experience, and, more importantly, access to a Michigan degree.

University of Michigan-Dearborn is committed to working creatively and in partnership with Governor Whitmer and the state legislature to best serve Michigan residents.

The chart below depicts the relationship between state appropriations and the Federal consumer price index (an index of increasing costs).

Appropriation funding gap

Q. What is UM-Dearborn doing to help defray the cost of higher education?

Each academic year, the university works hard to dedicate new resources toward its financial aid programs by aggressively working to restrain cost increases while spending current resources in the most productive manner. Despite our best efforts to contain costs where possible, there arises a need to raise new tuition dollars each fiscal year.

During these challenging times, the university has worked to become more efficient, reduce expenses and keep our tuition increase as low as possible. Since April 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.

We remain committed to offering financial aid programs that make a UM-Dearborn education accessible and affordable to all qualified students.. As illustrated by the chart below, which reflects the percentage change in our two largest budget drivers. Each year we have significantly increased the financial aid percentage  increase  beyond the tuition increase in an effort to offer support to as many UM-Dearborn students as possible, while the state of Michigan support change has been minimal. 89 percent of our state allocation goes to financial aid.

Financial Aid chart

Even when faced with rising energy costs, increasing health care costs, ongoing costs related to software applications, more robust technology investments, and campus deferred maintenance projects, UM-Dearborn has successfully managed to redirect almost $8 million in costs over the past eleven years to expenditures with the highest budget priority.


Q. When you say many UM-Dearborn students receive some financial aid, what do you count as financial aid?

Financial aid is a term that has a common definition so that all U.S. colleges and universities use it consistently. A typical financial aid package might include more than one type of aid. Financial aid can include: Loans: Loans are borrowed funds that must be repaid, with interest, after the student has completed school. Grants: Grants are a form of need-based gift funds that are awarded by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Scholarships: Scholarships are gift funds that often are awarded to students with high academic achievement or special talents; they do not have to be repaid. Work study jobs: These jobs are available to students who have financial need. Under the work-study program, a percentage of a student's earnings are paid through federal funds and the student’s employer pays the remainder. For more information about financial aid, please visit types of aid.

Office of the Registrar

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