Ferris Board of Trustees Approve Tuition, Room and Board Increases

BIG RAPIDS – The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved a 6.3 percent increase in tuition and a 3.9 percent increase in room and board rates for the 2008-09 academic year during its regular meeting July 9.

The board also approved a 13.9 percent increase in University-based scholarship funding from $11.17 million to $13.03 million to help offset increases in tuition, and room and board.

The rate recommendations reflect the completion of the University's transition to a per-credit tuition structure. New and continuing full-time resident undergraduates will pay $300 per credit hour – $4,500 per semester or $9,000 annually based upon 15 credits per semester. This equates to $270 more per semester.

Room and board residence hall rates for students will rise from $7,646 to $7,944 annually for a standard occupancy room and the 19 meals per week plan. The increase will allow the University to continue providing quality and flexibility in housing and dining options, and to maintain facilities.

The per-credit tuition rate of $379 for resident graduate students will rise to $403 for the 2008-09 academic year. Tuition for students taking credits from the University's first professional programs will increase to $488 per credit hour for Optometry and $478 per credit hour for Pharmacy.

Kendall College of Art and Design students will see an average 7.4 percent increase in tuition, with a full-time undergraduate student paying $14,076 annually for 30 credits (12 general education and 18 studio courses).

"We are appreciative of recent decisions by the state Legislature to provide a 1 percent increase in funding," Ferris President David Eisler said. "This is the first increase for Ferris State University since 2001.

"The adopted tuition, and room and board increases cover increased energy, technology and compensation costs," Eisler added, noting, "We will continue to invest in supporting scholarship opportunities to keep a Ferris education affordable for our students."

Also, in December 2007 more than $1 million in tuition was returned to students, Eisler said. The monies were collected through a per-credit contingency fee charged at the start of the fall 2007 semester. The university established the fee when setting tuition rates for the 2007-08 academic year in response to a delayed state payment to public universities and uncertainty on whether the state would meet its ongoing budget obligations. When the state finalized its 2007 package of taxation and budget legislation, the Ferris board voted to refund the fees collected during the fall semester.

In other business, the board approved the following:

  • A 2008-09 general fund operating budget of $169 million, which includes $50 million in projected state funding;
  • Purchase of a campus emergency notification system for the University's Big Rapids campus, which will be an outdoor, audible broadcast system;
  • Renovation of Kendall College of Art and Design's sixth floor – a 21,000 square-foot space;
  • Professional services contracts that include hiring a capital campaign consultant for Kendall College of Art and Design; an executive search firm to assist with the vice president for Administration and Finance search; retaining Dale Feinauer, Ph.D., to facilitate an improved working relationship between the Ferris Faculty Association, University administration and board of trustees; contracting with MAXIMUS, Inc. for computerized maintenance management software and implementation services;
  • To proceed with the re-accreditation process through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for an additional 10-year period. The University is scheduled for its review during the 2010-11 academic year; however, the comprehensive, self-study process as required by the HLC is expected to take more than two years;
  • Tenure for 13 faculty members during 2008-09;
  • Board officers for 2008-09, including Chair James K. Haveman Jr., Vice Chair R. Thomas Cook and Secretary Patrick W. La Pine.

The next full meeting of the board is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Nov. 7.


09 July, 2008