Sample Letter

(Date)

The Honorable (First Name/Last Name)
Michigan State House of Representatives
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Representative (Last Name):

—OR—

The Honorable (First Name/Last Name)
Michigan State Senate
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Senator (Last Name):

As an informed Michigan resident and a friend of Central Michigan University, I am concerned about the future of higher education in the state. I realize that higher education is critical to improving the state economy because a college degree means greater lifetime earning power, a higher quality of life and the ability to reinvest in the state. But the current state budget deficit is so dismal that I fear there might be limited funding available for higher education. We need to defend the level of higher education funding and even attempt to increase it.

I was concerned to learn about the governor’s recommendation for a 3% across-the-board cut and tuition freeze for fiscal year 2009–2010. I hope the federal stimulus package will prevent any cuts this year, but even if funding is maintained at the current-year level, a tuition freeze does not account for annual operating budget increases from rising utility costs, rising healthcare costs and rising personnel costs.

To make higher education accessible to all qualified students, Michigan’s 15 public universities need equitable state financial support on a per-student basis. Under the current system, CMU—the fourth largest university in the state with the fourth highest graduation rate—receives one of the lowest appropriations per student. The state can strengthen Michigan’s diverse higher education landscape and ensure an educational path catered to the interests and talents of each student by investing equally in all Michigan students. I hope you will consider these ideas in your deliberations.

Thank you for supporting one higher education funding bill for fiscal year 2008-09. Your support sent a very clear message to all 15 public four-year institutions in Michigan that they should—and need—to work together to protect Michigan’s very strong and diverse system of higher education.

I realize the decisions that you must make are very difficult. I hope you will consider the value of higher education, especially that provided by Central Michigan University, and will work to protect equitable state support of public higher education in Michigan.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

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