Report: College tuition on the rise in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Report: College tuition on the rise in Michigan

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Michigan has the ninth largest average of student debt in the nation and the numbers only get worse from there.

A combination of rising costs and less financial aid opportunities are creating problems for students seeking affordable higher education.

"It's so expensive and there's no way with a college job, part-time or full-time, that you're ever going to pay for it on your own,” said Justin Main, an SVSU graduate student.

Main juggles his part-time nursing job with school and is a graduate student at Saginaw Valley State University, pursuing a nurse practitioner degree.

Main said his student loan debt is daunting.

"Probably I'm close to $70-$75,000,” he said.

According to SVSU, 71 percent of students leave college owing an average of $23,000.

SVSU is not alone.

The Michigan League for Public Policy said tuition has more than doubled at most of the state's public universities over the last decade.

"We saw our state appropriations reduced by $1,700 per student. That has led to a much greater financial burden on students and their families,” SVSU Spokesperson J.J. Boehm said.

Tuition costs in Michigan rank as the sixth highest in the country, and because most can't afford it, they are forced to rely on student loans.

Boehm said that needs to change.

"We would encourage a greater investment in higher education because a more talented workforce is going to lead to more companies coming to our state and more jobs coming to our state,” he said.

Main said that same investment would give students like himself a better head start when he enters the workforce.

"It's hard to be able to do all that stuff that you were going to school to do, when on the back side of it, you've got to pay off your loans,” Main said.

A spokesperson for Gov. Rick Snyder said he hopes to return state funding to the level it was in 2010.

The spokesperson said the 2017 budget includes nearly $40 million of additional funding for the state’s universities and more than $4 million for community colleges. 

See the full report from The Michigan League of Public Policy here

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