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Students in field

Michigan independent colleges & universities welcome governor’s higher ed budget recommendation

February 9, 2017

Organization Responds with ROI Report on Economic Contributions, Academic Leadership

Michigan’s Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU) today released a major report on the economic footprint of its members, showing a wealth of contributions to the state’s prosperity, knowledge and culture.

MICU LogoThe report shows that MICU’s 25 not-for-profit institutions, which includes Finlandia University, directly spend $2 billion in Michigan each year. They also provide 26,000 jobs to Michiganders—17,000 of whom are directly employed by the colleges and universities, and 9,500 of whom provide institutional support in the surrounding communities. Together, Michigan’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities serve as one of the state’s largest employers. MICU member institutions contribute a substantial number of Michigan’s college grads with 85 percent of students coming from in-state.

“Michigan’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities help generate $1.4 billion in annual earnings for Michigan families, a considerable driver of our state’s prosperity,” said Robert LeFevre, president of MICU. “But even better, our member institutions not only educate Michigan’s students but support capital and social investments in their communities.”

LeFevre said many of his members have made capital investments, rehabilitated neighborhoods, and launched meaningful projects that involve students in active support for their communities.

“For us, however, it’s about more than just economics—it’s about real, lasting learning, and affordable, equitable access for all students,” LeFevre said. “MICU members claim smaller class sizes, higher graduation rates, and impressive job placement, as well as strong diversity and affordability.”

MICU members offer approximately $416 million in financial assistance to their students each year, making higher education more affordable as the cost of higher education has risen nationally.

“The State of Michigan is likely investing more, as well,” LeFevre said. “The 2018 budget recommendation from Governor Snyder provides an $11 million increase in student aid, which we see as a welcome investment in young talent.”

Of all state-based grant and scholarship dollars available to students at Michigan’s private, not-for-profit, colleges and universities, the institutions match the state’s investment 12:1. Moreover, MICU institutions have slowed annual tuition increases to the lowest rates seen in at least four decades. Adjusted for inflation, tuition increases at private colleges have decreased every decade since 1983.

“Many people don’t recognize our member institutions for what they have become today,” LeFevre said. “The nature of higher education has kept pace with the technological and cultural transformations in our world, and Michigan’s private, not-for-profit higher education institutions are on the leading edge of what’s next.”

MICU members provide high-tech learning simulations, cutting-edge research, and global experiences. When they are not learning in dynamic, wired, classrooms and laboratories, students at Michigan’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities are working out in the field, training for the professions the world needs most.

Full copies of the MICU report are available at http://micolleges.org/greater-impact-higher-purpose-micu-member-economic-footprint-report.

About MICU

Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities represent the state’s not-for-profit independent colleges and universities. Our goal is to increase awareness of the impact MICU members have on higher education in Michigan. With over 125,000 students at our institutions, Michigan independent colleges educate approximately 25 percent of all college students in the state.

MICU serves its members through government relations, public policy development, and advocacy. Learn more at micolleges.org.

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