East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– Michigan State University is the second to last Big Ten school to roll out a flat-rate tuition plan.
If you take a drive or stroll through campus you’ll see signs encouraging students to take more credits, because it costs the same. Students can take anywhere from 12-18 credits for one flat rate.
“I know that they want to try and increase like four-year graduation and I think that’s a possibility too, but I think it might challenge people a little more than they’re expecting,” MSU Freshman Mercedes Forsyth said.
She want to take advantage of the tuition plan, but for her and many other busy students, it’s not ideal.
“I do plan on being very busy this year like being in a leadership position and then also like possibly having a job, so in the fall I only plan on taking 14 credits,” Forsyth said.
Officials say the flat rate tuition plan was actually approved five years ago at MSU, but from 2006 to 2016 students were taking fewer credits overall, so the plan wouldn’t have saved the average student much money.
After the university’s “Go Green, Go 15” campaign in 2017, credit hours increased so now officials say it makes sense, but not everyone agrees.
“It’s honestly not the best decision in my opinion,” MSU Senior Taylore Johnson said.
Johnson doesn’t think it’s ideal to take that many credits.
“I don’t think encournging anybody to take you know up to eighteen credits to kinda save very little money… it’s just not a message to send because everybody finishes in their own time for a reason,” Johnson said.
But officials at MSU say an increase in credits actually leads to an increase in success.
MSU requires students to complete 120 credits to earn a degree. Mark Largent, the Interim Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education said although it seems counterintuitive, students who take more credits, actually have a higher rate of success.
“Our goal is for students to stay in school, accumulate credits faster, and finish sooner,” Largent said.
He added that less than half the cost of college actually comes from tuition. The rest comes from the cost of living, so reducing the amount of time students are in school will reduce their overall cost of attendance.
According to Largent, MSU has the second highest graduation rate in the state behind the University of Michigan. Just over 50 percent of regular students earn a degree in four years and 80 percent earn one in six.
Officials say the university will hire additional faculty to accommodate growing class enrollment.