A coalition of Michigan’s public university officials says college is still affordable, despite tuition hikes.
A report from the Presidents Council says need-based financial aid is on the rise, and universities are covering more student costs.
Michael Boulous is executive director of the Presidents Council.
"The bottom line is aid is available if you have need. College still is affordable, and we don’t want that to be a discouraging piece in attending any post-secondary institution."
Boulous says a college education is more important than ever for workers in Michigan.
"The number of jobs for workers with high school diplomas is shrinking rapidly," says Boulous. "In many cases, entire industries that employed these workers are vanishing. Unemployment for people who have gone to college is half the rate it is for those who have only a high school diploma."
The report says merit-based scholarships have decreased slightly over the past few years. But the report says need-based financial aid has nearly doubled in that time.
The Presidents Council says the average student pays about $4,800 in tuition at a public university. Housing and books can add about $9,000 to that price tag.
School officials say about two-thirds of students qualify for financial aid.