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State higher education investment in the Midwest: Michigan’s stark reality

In Financial Aid, Higher Ed Finance by Dan Hurley

Seldom are reports published that so clearly and concisely illustrate just how much of an aberration Michigan is when it comes to ensuring college affordability for its residents. The release by The Century Foundation of its latest report on Michigan college affordability represents such a moment. This latest report marks the second in a three-part series; the first, released in …

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The philosophy behind performance funding formulas

In Accountability, Higher Ed Finance by Bob Murphy

This fall in the Michigan Legislature, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Higher Education are holding informational hearings while they consider revisions to the state’s funding formula utilized for its 15 public universities. MASU is slated to testify on Dec. 10th, and other interested groups are offering their input on the existing formula. From my vantage point, the most …

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Gov. Whitmer’s first budget for higher ed: Turning the ship around

In Higher Ed Finance by Bob Murphy

We might have expected much of the general approach Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took to her first budget, announced this week, by her campaign platform. Certainly a number of proposals like pulling School Aid Fund out of the universities’ budget were expected based on her platform planks. But I think there are other lessons to be learned about our state’s next …

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In Their Quest to Advance Michigan, New State Leaders Should Prioritize Talent Development

In Economic Development by Dan Hurley

An earlier version of this commentary originally appeared in Bridge Magazine The world of work has changed over the last 20 years. It’s vital that Michigan change with it. That means placing a priority on investing in education that can provide the talent needed to attract and retain good paying jobs. The $25-an-hour factory job is no longer the driver …

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The Connection Between Educational Attainment and Earnings, Amplified by the Four-Year College Degree

In Educational Attainment by Dan Hurley

In her State of the State Address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an ambitious and much-needed goal for Michigan to increase its postsecondary education attainment level to 60 percent by 2030, as measured by the proportion of Michiganders with a college degree or high-quality certificate. It’s good that the Governor recognizes the link between state income and education levels. It’s even …

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Metrics that Matter: Michigan’s Higher Ed Funding Lags in the Midwest

In Higher Ed Finance by Dan Hurley

The extent to which state governments invest in their public colleges and universities and in their student financial aid programs has a direct impact on access to and affordability of a college degree. Greater state investment mitigates the need for colleges to raise tuition prices. Affordable colleges boost the capacity of states to increase the educational levels of their populations. …

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The conservative argument for state investment in public higher education – in one chart

In Higher Ed Finance by Bob Murphy

The leaders of Michigan’s 15 public universities, joined by the staff of the Michigan Association of State Universities, have long touted the personal return on investment a student earns with a four-year college degree. We’ve also long talked about the benefits that accrue to the state and to society when it makes public higher education an investment priority. And in …

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Data Over Dogma: Facts Matter

In Accountability by Bob Murphy

Universities are many things to many people—classrooms, workforce development engines, research and development institutions, and beacons of civic pride. But universities are also an ancient endeavor, created in something close to their current form at the University of Bologna in 1088, predating the modern nation-state by 560 years. In those intervening 929 years, one thing has remained constant: the teaching …

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Michigan’s Demographics Must Not Determine its Destiny

In Educational Attainment by Dan Hurley

Michigan’s economy is continuing to grow, enabling it to compete vigorously on the national and global stage. That’s the good news. The bad news? The state’s most important economic input—maintaining and growing a talented workforce—will be increasingly challenged by a declining population of young adults. Michigan will have the third largest percentage decline of high school graduates in the U.S. …

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An Unenviable #1 Ranking for the State of Michigan

In Financial Aid by Dan Hurley

The annual accounting of states’ investment in student financial aid was recently released, showing that financial aid across all states increased by 5.7 percent in the 2014-15 academic year, the most recent year for which data are available. The 46th Annual Survey Report on State-Sponsored Student Financial Aid, produced by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs …