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Week of July 8, 2013

U-M again improves rankings on college affordability lists

A newly released federal college affordability ranking shows U-M has — for the third straight year — one of the nation’s slowest rates of growth in net costs among the nation’s four-year public universities.

U-M improved its college affordability rankings by dropping lower in three categories of the latest College Affordability and Transparency Lists. The annual release of the information was made June 27 by the U.S. Department of Education.

U-M had one of the lowest percentage increases in net price and dropped even lower this year, improving from No. 568 last year to No. 600 on the list of 640 four-year, public institutions.

“This is one list where ranking near the bottom is good for our students and their families,” says Al Franzblau, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.

The university ranked at No. 52 for overall tuition and fees, dropping from No. 49 last year. U-M also improved its net price ranking by falling to No. 114 from No. 77 last year.

The only category in which the university did not improve over last year was in the percentage increase in tuition and fees, where U-M was ranked at No. 481, slightly higher than last year’s No. 520 ranking.

The starting point for the percentage increase in tuition and fees calculation was 2009-10 and the end point is 2011-12 covering two changes in tuition and fees. U-M increased tuition 1.5 percent in 2010-11 and 6.7 percent in 2011-12, for an overall change of 8.4 percent. In the following two years, the university approved tuition increases of 2.8 and 1.1 percent.

The university achieved these rankings while cutting costs by $265 million since 2004 and investing in double-digit increases in financial aid during seven of the past eight years.

UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint also had strong affordability rankings, improving in three of four categories. The Dearborn campus had lower rankings in tuition and fees, net price and percentage increase in net price. The Flint campus had lower rankings in net price, percentage increase in tuition and fees and percentage increase in net price.

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