Independent colleges in MI invest $4.4 billion in affordability

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Colleges and universities provide grants and scholarships to help students afford their education. In Michigan, independent colleges and universities are leading the way to ensure their students have access to the best education with as little out-of-pocket expense as possible.

Between 2008 and 2017, Michigan’s independent colleges and universities invested a total of $4.4 billion in students through direct grants and scholarships. These are funded through endowments, private donors, faculty, college presidents, and other private institution funds. These dollars help to ensure that students take on very little debt, if any.

Endowments are not the only funds used for these grants. Grants and scholarships must be funded from a variety of sources because endowments are not only restricted for certain uses but also, the level of scholarships given is considerably higher than the amount available in total endowment funds. Endowment assets at independent colleges and universities in MI total $1.75 billion between 2008-2017. At $4.4 billion, total scholarships for students are 2.5 times larger than these endowments.

While the amount of public financial aid has not kept pace, institutions themselves have stepped up and made investments in their students. The amount of funds provided by institutions has grown each year with total decade-level growth of 181 percent. This is 12 times the rate of inflation.

Colby Cesaro