Colleges eye higher tuition for honors, high-cost programs

Capital News Service
LANSING — To cover the costs of honors and higher-priced degree programs, public universities across the state are moving toward differential tuition, charging more for programs that are more expensive to deliver, have a high demand or high job placement according to a report by the Presidents Council. Undergraduate programs such as engineering, health sciences, business administration and computer science all require more funding, whether it be for lab equipment, smaller class sizes or a higher faculty to student ratio. And some public universities are requiring students to pay out-of-pocket for those curricula. “Although it has been a slow-growing practice in American public higher education in the past decade, the primary rationale is to charge students more of a market rate for specific programs or groups of programs they’re enrolled in, especially those that cost more to run,” said Dan Hurley, chief executive officer of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. Although the 15 public institutions in the state set their own tuition, those with differential tutition charge engineering majors more than a cheaper-to-educate English major, whether they’re coming from in or out-of-state.