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Wayne State blasts state, boosts tuition 8.9 pct.

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Officials of the Detroit school blamed the size of the increase on an erosion of state support for Wayne State and other public universities.

"The state has decided higher education is not a high priority, despite our business community recognizing that research universities are a primary engine for the state's economic growth," Debbie Dingell, chairwoman of the Wayne State Board of Governors, said in a statement. "We have to face the limitations of our basic funding source — student tuition."

The board adopted a $576 million budget Wednesday, up 1.7 percent from 2012-13.

The budget raises the tuition for a fulltime resident undergraduate by $904 for the upcoming school year. Wayne State said it was increasing financial aid by 11 percent, or $6.2 million, to ease the burden of the higher tuition.

Michigan State University trustees have raised tuition 1.9 percent for in-state freshmen and sophomores and 3.6 percent for juniors and seniors. And University of Michigan regents have raised in-state tuition 1.1 percent. Wayne State, Michigan State and the University of Michigan enjoy autonomy under the Michigan Constitution and have boards that are elected statewide.

In another tuition decision Wednesday, Oakland University's appointed trustees approved a 3.75 percent increase for in-state undergraduates.

Wayne State President Allan Gilmour said the state's funding system puts his school at a disadvantage because of its large share of non-traditional students.

"That is unfortunate, because Wayne State is a valuable asset to Michigan in many ways," Gilmour said. "We graduate thousands of students every year— most of them Michigan residents who stay in Michigan to live and work."

Even with the increases, Wayne State said its tuition rates remain below those of Michigan State and the University of Michigan.

"That's horrible," said Wayne State junior Marquis Williams, 23. "I want to know how much that hike is going to be. I can't afford to pay more. I'm going to have to take more loans."

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