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Study finds Michigan public universities generate nearly $24 billion in spending

Credit Michigan Technological University Photo Services / Wikipedia
View of the Michigan Technological University campus from across Portage Lake at Mont Ripley Ski Area.

Michigan’s public universities are “building the case” for more state aid.

The group representing the state’s 15 public universities releaseda report today showing the economic impact they have on Michigan. The study, by the Anderson Economic Group, claims the universities generated nearly $24 billion in direct and indirect spending in Michigan in 2012. 

The researchers say the money is spent across Michigan and not just in the towns where the universities are based.

Glenn Mroz is the president of Michigan Tech in Houghton.  He’s also the chairman of the Presidents Council of State Universities in Michigan.

Mroz says the report shows the important role higher education plays in Michigan’s economy.    

Mroz hopes the numbers will convince the governor to support more state funding for higher education.

“The governor leads the state, and so if the governor came out with a strong statement of support for higher education…I think others would start to say this is really important,” says Mroz.

Since the mid-1980’s, the percentage of Michigan university budgets coming from state aid has declined.  While at the same time, the percentage of their budgets coming from tuition and student fees has been rising.

In the last decade, Michigan public universities have seen a 5% increase in enrollments and a 13% increase in the number of degrees and certificates awarded.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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