Understanding Tuition

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 2020 paid $13,552 annually, including fees, in tuition for the 2020-21 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 upper level premiums based on the college offering the course.  The Registration Assessment (which is included in the tuition noted above) covers, but is not limited to, student services such as records, 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 by the student’s current class standing or residency status.


Q. How much will tuition increase for the 2021-22 academic year?

On June 17, 2021, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved a 1.9 percent tuition increase for full-time, in-state, undergraduate students. This equates to $13,816, per year, based on 15 credit hours per semester. That is $264 more annually than this year’s costs. 

The budget also contains a 1.9 percent tuition increase for out-of-state undergraduate students that will increase tuition and fees to $28,048, or about $528 more than last year, for full-time lower-division rate.

Tuition and fees will increase for graduate students by 1.9 percent, or about $180 annually, for in-state students, or $336 annually, for out-of-state students, for the typical part-time (6 credit hours per term) graduate rate.

This year both undergraduate and graduate students will not see an increase to the per semester registration assessment.  Last year the fee was reduced to $200 from $400 per semester. 

How much tuition a student actually pays each academic year may vary due to 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/or due to the student’s current class standing.


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

Student 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 81 percent of the university’s general fund budget in FY2022. 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, technology, 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.

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 2021-22 academic year, state funding is expected to represent approximately 17 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.  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).

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 continued to pursue operational efficiencies and cost reductions to keep tuition increases as low as possible. During FY21 our leadership team voluntarily reduced their salaries, instituted a voluntary staff furlough program, froze all reserve funds in the colleges and units, halted campus travel and staff 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.  These changes enabled us to successfully manage our resources during the pandemic and present the Regents with a balanced budget for FY22.

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 through FY21, the financial aid percentage increase has been greater than or equal to 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.  In FY22, the financial aid budget remained consistent despite decreased enrollment expectations, resulting in more financial aid per student. 88 percent of our state allocation goes to financial aid.

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.

The chart above indicates a 0% increase in AY22 due to expected enrollment declines. The actual amount of student support on a per student basis is unchanged from AY21. No additional UM-Dearborn general fund dollars are being allocated this year.


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

1169 - University Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-583-6500
Fax: 313-593-5697