Message from the President

Summer 2017

president-schlissel1Dear Friends,

The University of Michigan has a longstanding and extraordinary commitment to providing financial aid to in-state students seeking to better their lives by studying on our campus. We have been proud to honor this commitment in partnership with the people of Michigan, the citizens and donors who support our mission as a public university.

Last week, our commitment to ensuring that all qualified students from our state can afford a U-M education became a guarantee. Through a new financial aid program, all in-state undergraduate students with an annual family income up to $65,000 will receive up to four years of free tuition on our Ann Arbor campus, subject to certain asset limits.

The program is called the Go Blue Guarantee and it begins Jan. 1, 2018. You’ll hear a lot more about it in the coming months.

The median family income in the state of Michigan is about $64,000 a year. This guarantee will help families in that income bracket afford a U-M education. Our financial aid commitment to all families with need above the $65,000 income level will remain, as strong as ever.

I’ve heard from students and families everywhere in Michigan — from Marquette to Detroit, to Grand Rapids, Shiawassee County and Ypsilanti – who feel they can’t afford a U-M education. This innovative financial program is for all of them, and for every student in Michigan who dreams of a U-M education, applies and is admitted.

The Go Blue Guarantee cuts through the complexities of financial aid to help us reach talented students from all communities in our state. I have always believed that talent is ubiquitous in our society, but opportunity most certainly is not.

We have launched a broad statewide awareness campaign to spread the word about this new financial aid program, so the people of our great state will be able to see our commitment, written boldly, in maize and blue.

A goal of the Go Blue Guarantee is for every qualified student to feel that a University of Michigan education is within financial reach. We hope that alumni and community leaders like you can help us spread the word to students, families, guidance counselors and teachers.

The Go Blue Guarantee was part of the 2018 budget approved last week by our Board of Regents. This budget increased financial aid by 9.5 percent, bringing the figure for need-based undergraduate financial aid to $176.7 million. The increase in financial aid in the coming year will more than cover the $424 per year increase (or 2.9 percent) in the most common rate for Ann Arbor’s undergraduate, in-state tuition. To put this in perspective, over the last decade we have increased our undergraduate financial aid budget by an average of 11.3 percent per year, compared with 4 percent per year for in-state undergraduate tuition.

Our work to keep the doors of opportunity open to all qualified in-state students is made possible by the support of our Board of Regents, our generous donors, and you, our friends in the community. I appreciate your commitment to the university and our students.

Mark S. Schlissel