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Independent Indicators

A bachelor's degree requires less in loans than a car

auto debt vs. student debt

Automotive debt is at an all-time high with the average outstanding debt per auto loan at close to $33,000, about the cost of a nicely-equipped Chevy Malibu. However, there is no public outcry about the rising amount of automotive loan debt.

Student debt on the other hand, is a consistent topic in the news. Earning a college degree is a long-term financial investment that also provides benefits in the short-term. For about 60 percent of students in the U.S., loans are necessary to help finance the cost of higher education, compared to 85 percent of new car purchasers who use a loan. 

What does the data say about student loan debt compared to automotive debt?

National data shows that average auto loan debt has surpassed student debt each year since 2001. As the cost of most products has increased over time, so has the cost of earning a college degree and buying a car.

Beginning in 2001, average debt for each of the two assets (education or a car) diverge with average automotive debt increasing rapidly while student debt increases a slower pace. It is no secret that both are rising, but automotive debt (a more common form of debt for a depreciating asset) is rising faster.

As of 2017, the average automotive loan was about 30 percent higher than the average loan for a bachelor's degree.
 

Low-income students in MI choose 4-year degrees over 2-year degrees

low-income student enrollment by sector

Obtaining a 4-year degree is essential for long-term success in today's economy. The Independent Indicators issue from March 6, 2018 highlights the $18,000 annual average wage premium for those with a 4-degree compared to a 2-year degree in Michigan.

Do Michigan's students recognize this difference and select a more valuable degree?

Data from 2016 shows that students in Michigan are following economic signals. Low-income students in Michigan are selecting 4-year degree programs over 2-year programs.

Of all students enrolled in higher education in 2016, 70 percent of those with an annual family income below $30,000 choose 4-year degree programs compared to just 30% who choose 2-year programs.

Independent colleges are more efficient than public universities

students per employee

Higher education institutions in Michigan are run with varying levels of efficiency. One way to measure efficiency is calculating the number of students per full-time employee.

Comparing independent, non-profit colleges and universities in Michigan highlights that independent higher education institutions are able to run more efficiently than their public counterparts.

Data from 2016 shows that just over 12 students at independent, non-profit institutions are enrolled for each full-time employee while at public universities only six students are enrolled for each full-time employee.

This indicates that independent, non-profit institutions are twice as efficient as public universities in Michigan, serving more students with fewer resources.

Workers with a bachelor's degree earn more in Michigan

earnings by ed attainment

Individuals with a bachelor's degree earn nearly twice as much as those with only a high school diploma and 50 percent more than individuals who have some college or an associate's degree. A bachelor's degree matters for earnings and Michigan's economy.

Earning a bachelor's degree is associated with higher earnings, economic security, health, and other positive outcomes. But how much greater is the typical income for those with a bachelor's degree compared to those who do not have one in Michigan?

Data from the American Community Survey (2016) highlights the dramatic difference in earnings for workers who have at least a bachelor's degree and those who do not.

In 2016, the median income for a worker with a bachelor's degree was nearly $51,000. This is almost twice as much compared to a worker with only a high school diploma. Compared to workers who have some college credits or an associate's degree, those with a bachelor's degree earn about 50 percent more.

Workers with a bachelor's degree earn more, have more disposable income to put back into the economy, and pay more in taxes.
 

Nearly half of STEM grads go into a different career

STEM grad career field

Many students do not go into a career related to their college major. Nationally, 48 percent of STEM-trained college grads go into a non-STEM career field.

Research studies have found that a bachelor's degree, in any area of study, is important for future earnings and career growth. Data shows that many college graduates go into a career field that is not directly related to their undergraduate major.

A report from the University Research Corridor in 2013 found that most graduates who started a business started that business in an area outside of their major.

A recent study of the Pew Research Center, shows that the same is true for STEM grads. 

Nationally, nearly half of STEM-field graduates work in a career unrelated to their STEM training. While these students studied in a STEM field, they now work in business, education, law, social services, management, finance, and other non-STEM careers.

 

Independent colleges serve more students with financial need

MICU SEOG 2017

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are grants for college ranging from $1,000-$4,000 per student that can be used on top of other scholarships and are only available to students with the most financial need. 

In order to qualify, students must be enrolled in a Bachelor's degree program, have no outstanding student loans from another program, be a U.S. citizen, and have no criminal record. 

Students who qualify are from families with a family income of less than $30,000 annually. Approximately half of SEOG-eligible students are from families making $20,000 or less, annually. SEOG also requires that a portion of the grant funds come from scholarships sponsored by the institution.

Nationally, an average of about nine percent of undergraduates receive these grants. In Michigan, 14 percent of undergraduates receive SEOG while only six percent of undergraduates at Michigan's public universities receive SEOG.

Seven years of increases to student financial aid

MISSG

Under the leadership of Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature, need-based student grants and scholarships in Michigan increased 31 percent (an additional $29 million) between FY 2012 and FY 2018 and approximately 28,000 Michigan Tuition Grant recipients earned Bachelor's Degrees.
Michigan's students thank you!

It has been an important seven years for Michigan's college students. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature, need-based student grants and scholarships awarded in Michigan increased 31 percent adding roughly $29 million additional dollars into need-based grant and scholarship programs that help students earn degrees sooner.

During this seven-year period, approximately 28,000 Michigan Tuition Grant recipients earned Bachelor's Degrees.

The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) increased 33 percent (additional $14.5 million).

The Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) increased 44 percent (additional $8 million).

The Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) increased 20 percent (additional $6.4 million).
 

MTG students graduate sooner

MTG students graduation time

Students awarded the Michigan Tuition Grant graduate faster than other students in Michigan, completing a bachelor's degree in an average of four years instead of the state average of five.
Welcome to 2018! 

Grant funding is a catalyst to help students complete their degrees on time, joining the labor market sooner and with less loan debt. The need-based Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) does just this, helping students in need to graduate sooner.

Students who receive the MTG graduate at a faster rate than students who do not receive the grant. An average of 20 percent of degree-seeking undergraduates complete a degree in a given year, while 27 percent of MTG students complete a degree in a given year. 

Students who receive the MTG complete a bachelor's degree in an average of four years, compared to the state average for degree-seeking students of five years. What is so impressive about this, is that students in lower income brackets tend to take longer to complete degrees. But with enough grant funding, lower income students can complete a degree in an average of four years ready to enter the workforce or go on to graduate school.

The MTG makes a difference for Michigan's students and economy.
 

2016-2017 MTG recipients and graduates

It's been an exciting year at Michigan's independent colleges and univerities! During the 2016-2017 academic year, 14,789 students received the need-based Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) with more than a quarter (27%) of these students earning a Bachelor's degree.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, 14,789 students in Michigan received the need-based Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) award. This grant is available for Michigan students with financial need seeking a Bachelor's degree at an independent, non-profit college or university in Michigan. For many students, the MTG award is game-changing in helping them graduate on time.
 

Students who receive the MTG graduate at a 35 percent higher rate than students who do not receive the grant. The 2016-2017 academic year was no different with more than a quarter (3,933 students or 27 percent of the total MTG awardees) earning a Bachelor's degree. This is compared to the state average of 20 percent of Bachelor's-degree-seeking students completing their degree in a given year.

Capital investment using PABs creates 6,850 jobs

PAB investment

Independent, non-profit colleges & universities in Michigan have made $378 million in capital investments using private activity bonds in their communities, creating 6,850 jobs over the past decade. In the coming five years, they are projected to invest an additional $125 million creating another 2,260 jobs.

Over the past decade, Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities have invested hundreds of millions of dollars for capital projects in their local communities. Many institutions have used tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs) to finance certain projects, enhancing their local communities.

Since 2008, Michigan's independent colleges and universities have invested $378 million in capital projects using PABs. These projects have created roughly 6,850 Michigan jobs.

Investments are expected to continue in the coming five years with an additional $125 million for projects creating another 2,260 jobs.

These investments would not have been as large without access to tax-exempt financings through PABs. Michigan's colleges and universities have saved nearly $80 million in interest payments over the past ten years due to the tax-exempt nature of these bonds. This is $80 million that was used for other projects and creating jobs instead of paying interest.

Students from independent, non-profit colleges have low loan default rates

Students from Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges & universities have a lower loan default rate than the state average, national average, and national independent sector average.

In Michigan, students at independent, non-profit colleges and universities not only borrow less in student loans but also have a substantially lower default rate than students from other institutions in Michigan after graduation.

The average student loan default rate for the independent, non-profit sector in Michigan is 5.4 percent compared to 12.9 percent as the overall state average for all types of post-secondary institutions.

Students who attended Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities also have a lower loan default rate than the national average of 11.5 percent and the national independent, non-profit sector average of 7.0 percent.

Only 62 percent of independent, non-profit students even take loans and those that do are prepared for the world of work after graduation allowing them to pay back their student loans in a timely manner.
 

Student loan debt on the decline

Student loan debt is a concern for students, families, institutions, and the government. Luckily, Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities have been working hard to ensure that their students have a low debt burden and strong re-payment capabilities.

Since the 2009-2010 academic year, undergraduate students at Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges & universities have taken less and less money each year to supplement their educational expenses. 

The annual average loan amount taken by undergraduate students at independent institutions has fallen 11 percent since the 2009-2010 academic year.

The percentage of students at Michigan's non-profit colleges & universities who take loans is low and falling. During the 2015-2016 academic year only 62 percent of undergraduates took out Federal student loans. This is compared to 67 percent during the 2009-2010 academic year.
 

Earning a Bachelor's Degree Means More Job Security

Unemployment by educational attainment

Individuals with a Bachelor's Degree or higher are more likely to be employed than those with lower levels of educational attainment.

Data from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows that the 2016 unemployment rate for those with a Bachelor's Degree or higher was only 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for those without a Bachelor's degree was substantially higher in the same year.

Not only does a Bachelor's Degree open up more employment opportunities but it also is an indicator of job security. Data on unemployment from the 2008-2009 recession shows that individuals with a Bachelor's Degree or higher lost jobs at a lower rate than those with lower levels of educational attainment.

Bachelor's Degree education is important for Michigan's economic security and talent competitiveness.
 

Greater college access for women

Women awarded MTG

Independent colleges in Michigan are providing access to higher education for female students in need.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, nearly 60 percent of the need-based Michigan Tuition Grant awards were received by female students at Michigan's Independent colleges and universities.

This data matches the overall student body and those graduating from independent colleges & universities in Michigan. During 2016, 60 percent of bachelor's degrees awarded by independent colleges & universities in Michigan went to women. 

In comparison, 54 percent of degrees awarded at public universities go to women.

Independent colleges & universities provide greater access to lifelong learners and non-traditional students

degrees by age

Independent colleges in Michigan are providing greater access to non-traditional students and lifelong learners.

In 2016, 48 percent of the bachelor's degrees awarded by independent colleges & universities in Michigan were earned by students aged 25 and older. Fifteen percent of bachelor's degrees awarded by independent institutions were earned by students age 40 and older.

In comparison, 26 percent of bachelor's degrees awarded at public universities are earned by students aged 25 and older and just four percent are earned by students age 40 and older.

Independent, non-profit colleges and universities are providing lifelong learning opportunities for all of Michigan's students no matter what age they pursue a degree.

Independent colleges put students first

student aid vs. salaries

In 2015 Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities spent $984 million of institutional funds on scholarships, grants, and tuition discounts for students in need.  Salaries and benefits paid to employees at the same institutions totaled $869 million. The institutions invested greater than $100 million more in students.

Grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts help to ensure that students can complete a degree on time and leave college with little or no student debt.

In the same year, faculty and staff at Michigan's public universities received a total of $7.9 billion in salaries and benefits while the institutions spent a quarter of that ($1.9 billion) on scholarships, grants, and tuition discounts for students. Spending on faculty and staff is more than four times the amount spent on student financial aid.

Independent, non-profit colleges and universities are investing in Michigan students first.

More Michigan freshman choosing out-of-state schools, all of higher education in Michigan is losing out

MI students staying in MI for college

First-time college freshman from Michigan who choose to pursue a bachelor's degree have a variety of institutions in Michigan where they can pursue their higher education. In 2008, nearly 54,000 first-time college students attended one of the many institutions in the state, both public and independent. 

Since 2008, however, the number of first-time college students from Michigan choosing to stay in the state for college has declined steadily, falling by a total of 4,800 (nine percent). While Michigan has had a slow decline in the overall number of students enrolled in higher education, the number leaving the state to pursue a degree grows.

Approximately 48 percent of the first-time colleges students who leave Michigan attend an institution in Ohio (25 percent), Indiana (12 percent), or Illinois (11 percent).

Ohio, in particular, has seen a 58 percent increase in the number of first-time freshman from Michigan who choose to attend college in Ohio rather than staying in-state in Michigan.
 

Over 120,000 bachelor's degrees awarded this decade

MICU member institutions have awarded 120,929 bachelor's degrees over the past decade (2007-2016). This represents 22 percent of the total bachelor's degrees awarded in Michigan between 2007 and 2016.
 

The annual number of bachelor's degrees awarded increased an average of ten percent between 2007 and 2016.

Independent colleges and universities increase student grants and scholarships 99% over ten-year period

MICU member institutions have increased the amount of student aid available through institutional grants over the past decade. Institutional grants and scholarships increased 99 percent, or 11 percent per year, between 2006 and 2015.

When accounting for inflation, institutional student aid still increased 63 percent across the ten-year period. 

While the costs of delivering quality higher education programming are increasing, independent institutions in Michigan are working to ensure that all students still have access and will graduate without excessive debt.
 

MICU members provided $984 million in institutionally funded aid in 2015

institutional student aid 2015

During 2015, Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities provided nearly $984 million to students in the form of grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts. This funding is provided on top of Pell Grants, the Michigan Tuition Grant, and other federal or state funded student aid.

MICU member institutions provided $495 million in grants and scholarships and another $489 million in tuition discounts to students. This comes to a total of $984 million or $11,500 per student when dividing total funding provided by all students enrolled.  In comparison, public universities in Michigan provided $6,406 per student in institutional aid during 2015. 

Michigan independent colleges and universities do more for minority students and women

degrees awarded by institution type 2015

Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges & universities work hard to provide access and opportunity to Michigan's minority students and to women. These efforts are evident in the successes of minority students and women who complete degrees at a higher rate through Michigan's independent, non-profit institutions.

In 2015, MICU member institutions awarded 21 percent of the total bachelor's degrees awarded in Michigan. An even larger percentage of degrees were awarded to women and minorities. Of all bachelor's degrees awarded in Michigan to African American students, MICU member institutions awarded 27 percent. For Hispanic students the share was 22 percent and for women 23 percent.

Michigan Scholarship & Grant Growth for FY 2017-2018

Scholarships and grants for Michigan students are on the rise!
The 2017-18 budget shows that the need-based Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) will increase by 32 percent and the merit-based Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) will increase 74 percent, compared to previous legislative minimums. Excellent news for Michigan's students.

During FY 2013-14 the appropriation for the need-based Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) was $31,664,700. The proposal for FY 2017-18 MTG includes $38,021,500, a 20 percent increase over the five-year period and a nine percent increase compared to the FY 2016-17 budget of $35,021,500.
Also included in this budget is an increase in the per student minimum award. The minimum was previously $1,512 and has now increased to $2,000, a 32 percent increase.
The MTG is welcome aid for Michigan's students in need!

The Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) will also have an increase in appropriations and minimum award in the coming fiscal year. For the 2017-18 year the proposed budget includes an $8,000,000 increase (44 percent) for the MCS. The per student minimum MCS award will increase from $575 to $1,000, a 74 percent increase.

All of these changes are exciting for Michigan's students as the increases allow grants and scholarships to make even more of a difference for students and their families.
 

 

Independent colleges and universities have higher share of veteran enrollment

veteran share of undergrad enrollment in Michigan

During FY 2015, 2.4 percent of the undergraduate population at Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities claimed veteran status compared to 1.3 percent at Michigan's public universities.

Michigan's institutions still have work to do to increase the share of veterans enrolling in baccalaureate programs as both sectors in Michigan lag behind national averages for enrollment. Independent institutions in Michigan rank 28th for veteran enrollment while the public universities rank 46th when compared to other states.

Nationally, veterans enroll at independent, non-profit colleges and universities at a higher rate than their public peers and Michigan follows this trend. In FY 2015, 3.2 percent of the undergraduate population nationally at independent institutions claimed veteran status while the veteran share of undergraduates at public universities was 2.5 percent. 

MICU recently released a special brief on the status of veterans in higher education in Michigan. See the MICU website for this report and others. View the press release.

Doing more for students in need

Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities do more for students in need than public peers in Michigan and independent peers nationally. 

During FY 2015, 39,202 undergraduates at MICU member institutions received Pell grants, a federal need-based grant. This represents 47 percent, nearly half, of the undergraduate population at Michigan's independent, non-profit, colleges and universities.

Nationally, Michigan's independent colleges and universities perform better than their peers. Across the nation, 35 percent of independent, non-profit college and university undergraduates receive Pell grants compared to the 47 percent in Michigan. At Michigan's public universities, 33 percent of undergraduates receive Pell grants. 

Find additional data on MICU members in the reports and one-pagers sections of this site.

Grants and scholarships for Michigan veterans

pie chart

During FY 2017 over 900 students in the State of Michigan grants and scholarships application system claimed veteran status. Of these, just 101 were awarded grants or scholarships through the State of Michigan.

From the 101 veterans who did receive grant and scholarship aid from the state in FY 2017, 45 percent chose to attend independent, non-profit colleges and universities.

While only a small share of veterans receive scholarships from the state, including the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, the Michigan Tuition Grant, and other programs, MICU member institutions do more to provide additional grants to veterans to ensure their success in higher education. 

Find the full report here.

Veteran enrollment growth at independent institutions is strong

The national trend for veteran enrollment in higher education is declining. However, Michigan’s veteran enrollment is positive with the strongest growth for Michigan’s independent, non-profit colleges and universities. Between 2014 and 2015, veteran enrollment increased by 21 percent at MICU member institutions. Veteran enrollment in Michigan’s public universities increased by two percent during this same time.  Between 2014 and 2015, veteran enrollment in four-degree programs and graduate programs declined by two percent nationally. MICU member institutions are working to reverse this trend and better serve veteran students.

Find the full report here.

4 in 10 veterans choose independent colleges

In 2015, 2,069 post-9/11 veterans were enrolled in baccalaureate and graduate programs at Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities. Of these, 1,872 were undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree. These veterans represent 2.4 percent of the undergraduate student body at MICU member institutions.

In Michigan, 4,862 post-9/11 veterans were enrolled in baccalaureate programs during 2015. Forty percent of these students chose Michigan's independent, non-profit colleges and universities for their baccalaureate degree.

Additional data can be found here. The full report on veterans can be access with this link.
 

Institutional Aid to Students

More than 66,263 undergraduate students from Michigan are enrolled at independent, non-profit higher education institutions in the state. At least one in four, more than 25 percent, of these students qualifies for the Michigan Tuition Grant. Independent institutions contribute to student success and affordability by providing institutional aid on top of state grants and scholarships. Michigan's independent, non-profit higher education institutions award 81 percent of their undergraduates with institution-based grants and scholarships.

Find this and additional relevant data from MICU here.

Access to College Through Collaboration Agreements

Pie chart showing enrollment of transfer students

Currently, 8,024 students are enrolled in programs at Michigan’s independent, non-profit colleges and universities because of collaboration agreements between higher education institutions in Michigan. This represents 11 percent of all undergraduate enrollment at Michigan’s independent, non-profit higher education institutions. For more detail on transfer students see the full report

Enhancing Talent Through Collaboration

Pie chart showing 25.6% of degrees awarded are through collaboration

Collaboration agreements are responsible for more than 3,229 (>25.6%) of baccalaureate degrees awarded by Michigan's private, non-profit, colleges & universities. Michigan's private, non-profit colleges & universities award more than 12,000 baccalaureate degrees annually. During FY 2016, at least 3,229 of the baccalaureate degrees awarded by Michigan's private, non-profit colleges & universities were awarded to students enrolled through collaboration programs.