Great research universities attract and support talented individuals who give birth to new ideas and discoveries that help drive our state and local economies. The University of Michigan is proud to support innovation and entrepreneurial activity at all levels among our students.
This edition of Michigan Impact showcases our Made at Michigan initiative to promote the work of our student entrepreneurs. U-M students launched more than 300 ventures this past year alone. They invent life-saving technologies, start companies that create jobs, and launch nonprofits that make lives better in our neighborhoods.
I am working to foster entrepreneurship and other experiential aspects of the Michigan education, because I am convinced that they are essential to our mission of public impact. They also prepare our graduates to lead through creativity and innovation, in any career they decide to pursue.
At U-M, students can take advantage of a wide array of programs, courses and organizations devoted to innovation and entrepreneurship. We also recently launched a minor in entrepreneurship that is open to all undergraduate majors on our campus.
Last week, the Board of Regents approved the university budget for the 2017 fiscal year. Tuition for in-state students will increase by 3.9 percent, and at the same time, we have increased financial aid for undergraduates by 10.8 percent. The changes reflect a modest 2.9 percent increase in state funding (which is still below 2011 levels) and ongoing efforts to control costs and maintain affordability for students with financial need.
About 70 percent of our students from Michigan receive some form of financial aid. Our many years of prioritizing financial aid in our budget has meant that the net cost to attend U-M – the cost not just of tuition, but also room and board, books and supplies – has not grown in seven years for most students with financial need.
When inflation is taken into account, the cost to attend the University of Michigan over the last seven years has actually declined for students with need. We have done this by replacing loan dollars – money that students must eventually repay – with grant dollars, which are not repaid, and as a result, student debt burden at graduation has been decreasing.
We appreciate the work of state leaders – and our friends in the community, including business leaders, who recognize the tremendous value we bring to our state – to increase public higher education funding when there are many competing priorities in the state budget.
Thank you for your support of the university and our students.