UM-Flint’s Finalized Budget: What You Need to Know

Ryan Lanxton

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UM-Flint’s budget is now finalized, rising by $2.13 million from last year, taking the final number to $145.9 million and raising tuition in the process. 

In their annual general budget, the University of Michigan released the numbers for each satellite campus and the schools within them, with UM-Flint seeing some changes from last year. 

The School of Health Sciences, Management, and Nursing all saw increases of 2.3 percent, 7.9 percent and 15 percent, respectively. However, the School of Education and Human Services saw the largest decrease of 3.6 percent and the College of Arts & Sciences by 0.6 percent. 

But what exactly determines how the budget is created? The majority of funding comes from student tuition and fees, which comprises 78.9 percent of this year’s budget, or $91.1 million. Another 20.4 percent comes from state appropriations, totaling $23.5 million.

Enrollment numbers are the biggest factor in which schools receive an increase or decrease. If one school saw an increase in students, so too does their funding. However, if the school lost students, their budget is reduced. 

Since UM-Flint’s all-time high enrollment number of 8,574 in the 2014-2015 academic year, enrollment has been steadily decreasing. For the fall 2018 semester, the student body totaled 7,532.

To offset the lack of funds from falling enrollment, tuition has increased for all UM-Flint students. At the June Board of Regents meeting, the board approved a $586 increase to combined tuition and fees for all resident undergraduates for the 2019-2020 academic year. Graduate students saw a 4.9 percent increase to all programs except the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia program, which saw a 13.3 percent increase. 

For the 2019-20 academic year, resident undergraduate students will have to pay $472.25 per credit hour up to 12 credits. Each additional credit after 12 credits will cost $103.

While an increase in tuition is something no student ever wants to hear, Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Mike Hague wants to reassure students that the bump in tuition has been kept as low as possible.  

“I think we’ve done a very good job of not impacting the student education with our budget adjustments, they haven’t had to be that dramatic,” said Hague. “We’ve had surpluses built up from prior years that schools were able to tap into.” 

Surpluses are leftover funds that weren’t spent from the previous year’s budget and can roll from one fiscal year to the next if needed.

Universities in Michigan are incentivized by the state to cap the amount of tuition they can increase. Currently, the cap for raising tuition per academic year is set at 4.4 percent or $587, whichever is greater. If a university exceeds the cap, it will not be eligible for state-funded projects.

Main programs have been largely unaffected by the budget itself and are instead continually evaluated for their financial viability to see if they need to be changed. “We look at everything we do every year to make sure it’s still mission-critical,” said Hague. “And that’s constantly being done, evaluating to see if they’re viable or if there is administrative costs that can be cut in any area.”

The budget is set for the remainder of the fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of 2020. A full report of the budget for not only UM-Flint but for Ann Arbor and Dearborn can be found here.