NMU tuition hike reasonable, probably unavoidable

Northern Michigan University released its fee schedule for the 2014-15 – fall and winter semesters – school year.

NMU has increased tuition by 3.2 percent, meaning resident undergraduates with full-time class loads – 12 credits or more – will pay $9,385 per year in tuition. Tuition is up $291 from 2012-13.

Northern Michigan University remains the second least expensive public university in Michigan to attend.

Incoming freshmen who have to live on campus unless they can fulfill exemption requirements will be charged $4,350 for room and board for the year. That brings the cost of attending school, a place to live and food to $13,735. That’s a good a bit of money in most people’s books.

However, when looking at other Upper Peninsula universities, NMU starts to look like a bargain.

An incoming freshman looking to take the average class load, let’s say 15 credits at Michigan Technological University, would be staring at $13,740 in tuition and another $9,516 in room and board for a grand total of $23,256 for the year.

Across the Portage Canal in Hancock, first-year students would pay a total of $28,406 for the year at Finlandia University; tuition to be a Lion costs $20,900 and room and board is an extra $7,426.

Of course, none of these totals include books, student fees like recreation passes or activities fees, or other things like entertainment or traveling.

For a student who wants to attend Michigan State University, he or she would have to come up with $12,908 for tuition and another $8,856 for room and board for a grand total of $21,764 for a year.

So while it appears to us that a college education, while greatly needed in today’s society and worth the effort and experience, is in fact, getting too expensive, NMU can still offer a quality education at an affordable price.

And it costs a lot to run a university. Even with the 3.2 percent increase NMU still needs to cut $1.4 million from its general fund expenditure budget.

We think that Northern Michigan University’s tuition hike was reasonable. Besides, don’t they say you get what you pay for?