DETROIT (AP) — The University of Michigan will offer four years of free tuition for in-state students whose families make less than $65,000 annually.
The “Go Blue Guarantee” starts Jan. 1 after regents approved the program Thursday as part of the school’s $2 billion fiscal year 2018 general fund budget for the Ann Arbor campus.
Tuition for in-state students at Michigan is about $7,413 per term this fall. The “Go Blue Guarantee” will not cover room and board, but students also may be eligible for additional aid to cover non-tuition costs.
The school says the $65,000 benchmark is roughly equal to the state’s median family income of $63,893.
The guarantee is expected to increase socio-economic diversity on the campus, Board of Regents Chair Mark Bernstein said.
“There is no question that the talent and the intelligence and hard work is evenly spread across Michigan families, but if you look at who is attending our school it does not represent the state,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein added that it’s a promise for families who now have children in elementary and middle school and “may have written off the University of Michigan because they thought it would be too expensive.”
Funding for the program is generated from out-of-state tuition and university cost containment, he said.
The university says the program will not reduce need-based financial aid for students who parents earn more than $65,000.
“We are making a commitment in order to make sure in-state students have access to the life-changing educational opportunities at a large research university like U-M,” said Paul Courant, the school’s interim provost.