University of Michigan: Go Blue Guarantee scholarship program extended to all campuses

Program previously only offered on Ann Arbor campus

A University of Michigan-Dearborn sign (WDIV)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan announced it will expand its Go Blue Guarantee free tuition program to its Dearborn and Flint campuses.

The landmark program promises four years of free tuition for Michigan residents who qualify. It was previously only offered on the school’s Ann Arbor campus.

Starting this fall, high-achieving, in-state, full-time undergraduate students at both U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint who have a family income of $65,000 or less and assets of less than $50,000 will automatically qualify for the award.

The measure to extend the commitment to all campuses was approved by the Board of Regents on June 17. The expansion will have no effect on the aid provided to Ann Arbor students.

Read: University of Michigan updates COVID safety policies, encourages self-reporting of vaccines

“Our budget supports the families of our state and the academic excellence of our students by promising that outstanding students who work hard in their studies will be able to afford a Michigan education—on all three of our campuses,” President Mark Schlissel said in a release.

“I thank the many individuals in our community whose passion and commitment to affordability have helped us achieve this moment in the great history of the University of Michigan.”

As the programs become established on the Dearborn and Flint campuses, the Ann Arbor campus will provide budgetary support for at least six years, according to a release.

Moving forward, the initiative will be a key focus during fundraising efforts.

In order to qualify for the Go Blue Guarantee, both incoming first-time college students and transfers at the two regional campuses must have a high school or transfer GPA of at least 3.5. Incoming first-time college students will be eligible for up to eight semesters of no-cost tuition while transfers will be eligible for up to four semesters of no-cost tuition.

Returning U-M Dearborn or U-M Flint students who have not surpassed the semester limit will be eligible to receive free tuition this fall and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Financial aid will continue to be provided for students who do not qualify for the Go Blue Guarantee at both the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint campuses based on merit and need.

Additionally, during Thursday’s meeting, the Board of Regents also approved a $2.4 billion general fund budget for FY ‘22 for the Ann Arbor campus, which, according to U-M, includes:

  • A $15-an-hour minimum wage for permanent workers. Budgets for UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint provide for the same minimum wage increase on those campuses.
  • No increase in out-of-pocket tuition costs for most in-state undergraduates through increased financial aid for students with need.
  • More than a quarter of in-state students with the most financial need to attend tuition-free.
  • Expanding programs geared toward first-year students to also include second-year students who missed a traditional first-year campus experience due to the pandemic.
  • $29 million in ongoing savings through cost containment.

The budget for FY ‘22 that commences July 1 also designates funds to restart merit pay increases for university employees after a yearlong salary freeze, enhance student mental health and wellness resources and work toward the university’s carbon neutrality plan.

According to the new spending plan, the Ann Arbor in-state tuition rate will increase by 1.4%. It will be offset by a 6.4% financial aid increase that will cover the increase for most in-state students who demonstrate financial need.

“Not only will most in-state undergrads see no change in their net tuition costs, we estimate that more than a quarter will pay no tuition at all,” Schlissel said in a release. “And when students arrive in the fall, they will be able to enjoy a full campus experience, with excellent academic programs teaching the vast majority of classes in person.”

Tuition and fees for in-state students will increase by $230, making the annual rate for 2021-2022 $16,178. Tuition and fees for nonresident students will increase by $966, making the annual rate for 2021-2022 $53,232. The majority of U-M’s graduate programs will also see a 1.8% bump in tuition and fees.

The University Health Service fee will be increasing 1.4% to $205.22 per semester.

“Approval of this budget invests in our students—their academic success, their well-being and their engagement,” Provost Susan Collins said in a release. “While these are high priorities every year, they are especially important this year as we emerge from the pandemic.

“We are working hard to keep costs down while also investing to protect and enhance the quality of the education and experience we deliver to our students. Our sticker price rates would be significantly higher without these cost containment actions.”

For the upcoming fiscal year, U-M Regents also voted to increase resident hall room and board rates by 3%. According to a release, the increase will support current and future maintenance as well as ongoing costs associated with reducing the spread of COVID.

For the fall and winter terms, the total cost per student for a double room with a basic meal plan will be $12,592 -- up $368 from last year.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.