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Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 2014-15 budget supports broader access to increasingly distinctive programs

The Oakland University Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a 2014-15 general fund budget that focuses on preserving and enhancing the university's educational programming and services, as well as significantly increasing financial aid resources for students.

In addition to managing steadily rising costs of operation and allowing for a wide range of facility and operational improvements, the roughly $234 million budget provides funding for new academic degree programs, faculty positions, expansion of library collections and a 10.3 percent increase in need- and merit-based scholarship awards available to qualified students at every level of study.

Oakland will also maintain the only no-fee pricing policy among Michigan's public universities, as well as highly valued financial aid programs including a student full aid guarantee and an economic hardship fund.

These and other support programs have made a substantial impact on Oakland's goal to keep a high-quality college education accessible to a broad range of students. On average in 2013-14, full-time undergraduates received $3,938 in scholarships, grants, and other awards, which reduced their overall net average cost by one third.

The 2014-15 budget is based on projected revenue that includes a state appropriation of $48,364,100, which includes a 5.9 percent increase in performance-based funding. Tuition is set at an average of $11,460 for full-time resident undergraduates – a 3.17 percent increase over 2013-14 rates – and an average of $15,294 for full-time resident graduate students – a 3.2 percent increase.

Undergraduate tuition increases are focused on upper division credit hours in light of a higher cost of instruction at this level. Upper level courses are taught by more accomplished and experienced faculty and incorporate smaller class sizes.

With Tuesday's board action, Oakland is adhering to the state’s mandated tuition restraint of 3.2 percent, which qualifies the university to receive the state's performance-based funding increase. Oakland supports efforts to improve successful performance indicators, including degree completion rates, expenditure control, research and utilization of Pell Grant awards.

The university is also committed to keeping high-quality higher education accessible to a broad array of students, and has advanced this goal by implementing more than $43 million of permanent and one-time savings in recent years. According to the State’s Higher Education Institution Data Inventory (HEIDI) database, Oakland receives the second lowest state funding per student among state universities.