CMU board approves no tuition increase for first-year students

Trustees also adopt upper/lower tuition structure, 30% housing discount option

| Author: Heather Smith

Tuition will be frozen for new first-year students at Central Michigan University this fall, following a vote today by the Board of Trustees.

New students who enter with fewer than 56 credit hours will pay the same tuition rate that has been in place at CMU the last two years.

"We're doing the hard work to keep costs as low as possible for our students and families while delivering a top-tier education," President Bob Davies said. "We are committed to making our degrees as affordable as possible."

The flat rate for incoming first-year students is part of an upper/lower tuition structure approved by the trustees. Beginning with new students enrolled this fall, tuition for first- and second-year students will be lower than for students in their third and fourth years.

Upper-level courses are more costly because of factors such as smaller class sizes; laboratories; and more intensive, career-focused learning experiences. Additionally, these junior and senior-level courses often are taught by more senior faculty. Twelve of Michigan's 15 public universities already have upper/lower tuition models in place.

"In addition to aligning rates with class costs, the move to an upper and lower tuition structure matches what's done statewide. This will make it easier for students and families to compare tuition rates accurately across all Michigan universities," said Barrie Wilkes, vice president for finance and administrative services.


In related action, trustees increased room and board rates by 2.5% for the coming year, while also approving a new 30% room discount for students opting to live with three other roommates — instead of two — in rooms in the four Towers residence halls.

"This discounted housing option gives students and parents greater control over the total cost of attendance," Wilkes said.

Current, continuing students not part of upper/lower structure

Current, continuing undergraduate students will not be affected by the upper/lower structure. For these students, trustees set a 3.1% tuition increase from $417 to $430 per credit hour. This is $4 per credit hour less than the new upper-level tuition rate. Trustees also set 2019-2020 graduate and doctoral rates, as well as 2020-2021 rates for the College of Medicine.

Central's cumulative tuition rate increase for the past 10 years is expected to remain the lowest in the state. CMU's current tuition is lower than eight of Michigan's 15 public universities when compared to upper and lower division averages.

Review all 2019-2020 tuition and fees online

CMU Upper/Lower Tuition Model: Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate 2019-2020 tuition rates
Resident undergraduate lower level (new, first-year students from anywhere in the U.S. with < 56 credit hours) $417/credit hour
Resident undergraduate upper level (new students from anywhere in the U.S. with 56 credit hours or more) $434/credit hour
Current, continuing undergraduate students from anywhere in the U.S. $430/credit hour


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