The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Board approves tuition credit

The NMU Board of Trustees voted over winter break to give a tuition credit to all full-time resident students in the fall semester.

The university is scheduled to receive $1.3 million in stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the stimulus bill. Current projections estimate that the tuition credit would be between $180 and $190 for each student, depending on enrollment for next year. The Board of Trustees approved the plan on Dec. 11.

“Because it is going to be a resource that students are receiving, we will need to count that as some type of financial aid,” said Mike Rotundo, director of Financial Aid.

Rotundo said that while it is still very early in the process, the money would probably appear as an award on the student’s account before school starts, probably in August.

Story continues below advertisement

The legislation requires universities to spend the money in one of two ways. It could be allocated towards tuition or used to enhance and improve learning facilities. Gavin Leach, vice president of finance and administration, said that he felt the most effective way to spend the money was as a tuition credit for students.

“As we looked at it last year, we thought that if we received the money, we’d put it toward tuition. We felt that since we had stated that would be our intent, we had a discussion and we agreed that should be the direction,” he said.

Leach said that the original plans for the money were to go to non-resident students as well as resident students, but the bill required it only go towards Michigan residents. Still, Leach said that he felt the tuition credit was the best option because it would benefit students directly.

“We looked at it from a lot of different angles and we felt this would have the best impact,” Leach said. “It’s nice to be able to do it for the students and again during these times, it’s nice to provide some economic benefit, to try and keep education affordable.”

Tuition for the 2009-2010 school year rose $188 per student from the previous year. The tuition credit will help offset any tuition increase for the 2010-2011 school year. With a $1.6 billion deficit in the state budget right now, Leach said that the tuition credit will be very helpful for students.

“The fiscal reality is that we’re going to have a reduction from the state, and to an extent we’re going to have to raise tuition. Having that tuition credit to help offset it will be beneficial,” Leach said. “There’s still hope. You never know what could happen at the state level. This time, Michigan’s not the only one going through this.”

The decision comes amid discussions among the university administration on how to cut costs for the 2010-2011 school year.

“Right now we are preparing for the reality that there will be a reduction in state funding for next year,” Leach said. “We’ve given all the divisions targets to review, looking for ways to reduce and reorganize. We’ve looked at different revenues for new programs. Over the next few months, we’re going to review those and look for ways to save costs and ways to reduce our operating costs.”

Leach said that every year since the economic troubles began at the state level, the university has looked at cost-saving measures.

“These are things we’ve been facing for seven years, going on eight years and it doesn’t get any easier,” Leach said.
Environmental Conservation major Michael Marthaler said that while he’s glad the money benefits him, he wishes the Board had chosen to improve learning facilities instead.

“I’m excited because it helps me in the short term. But as far as a far term endeavor, I think giving it to these students is kind of dumb because if you improve a building, it at least goes to future generations,” Marthaler said.

Along with the tuition credit, the Board of Trustees also voted to accept $4,700 in gifts and $2 million in external grants, granted emeritus status to professor David Powers and approved a five-year master plan.

“Right now we are preparing for the reality that there will be a reduction in state funding for next year,” Leach said. “We’ve given all the divisions targets to review, looking for ways to reduce and reorganize. We’ve looked at different revenues for new programs. Over the next few months, we’re going to review those and look for ways to save costs and ways to reduce our operating costs.”

Leach said that every year since the economic troubles began at the state level, the university has looked at cost-saving measures.

“These are things we’ve been facing for seven years, going on eight years, and it doesn’t get any easier,” Leach said.

Environmental conservation major Michael Marthaler said that while he’s glad the money benefits him, he wishes the board had chosen to improve learning facilities instead.

“I’m excited because it helps me in the short term. But as far as a far term endeavor, I think giving it to these students is kind of dumb because if you improve a building, it at least goes to future generations,” Marthaler said.

Along with the tuition credit, the Board of Trustees also voted to accept $4,700 in gifts and $2 million in external grants, granted emeritus status to professor David Powers and approved a five-year master plan.

More to Discover