BOC Commits to Financial Aid and Approves Online MBA

The Board of Control has announced a significant increase in financial aid for students struggling to afford a college education.

In special remarks delivered at the Board’s regular meeting today, Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Steve Hicks said that Michigan Tech will increase financial aid by approximately 10 percent for next school year. Financial aid totals $38 million, 20 percent of the University’s budget. The board has asked President Glenn Mroz and his administrative team to include this increase in the fiscal year 2010–11 budget.

“The board members recognize the dramatic impact of the recent economic downturn on the ability of students and their families to pay for higher education,” Hicks said. “We empathize with them and decided to make an early commitment for next school year to ensure that students who seek a truly exceptional educational experience at Michigan Tech have that opportunity.”

Nationally, rising tuition costs and the economic recession have combined to force students to lower their educational sights and seek out lower-priced options. This is especially true in Michigan, where this year the state’s retraction of the Michigan Promise Grant left many students lacking sufficient support. Michigan Tech’s response was to pick up that commitment from the state and fund the Promise grants from its own coffers for the first semester.

Hicks emphasized the University’s resolve to help students. “We are making our own promise to prospective and current students who face rising financial pressure. Providing access to a Michigan Tech education at an affordable price is a top priority, and we are putting our dollars behind the promise. The State of Michigan needs our kind of graduates, proficient in science, engineering, and technology, to propel it to a stronger economic future.”

President Mroz affirmed that message. “People are our priority. We want every student who values what Michigan Tech offers to come here. Today the Board has sent a message that we will go out of our way to make it financially possible.”

The Board of also approved a program price of $38,000 for a new, two-year online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. It will make Michigan Tech’s MBA curriculum and faculty available to distance learners worldwide, starting with the fall 2010 semester.

Like the campus MBA program, the new online program will focus on innovation and technology management.

“Faculty, in our MBA programs on campus and online, understand scientists, engineers and others who work in similar areas,” said Ruth Archer, director of graduate business programs at the School of Business and Economics (SBE). “We want to help them gain a competitive edge and advance their careers.”

MBA online students will attend two extended weekends on campus and one weeklong international residency where they will learn about the development of technology-related businesses in another culture. The international residency will give students a global perspective on innovation and technology management.

“During the on-campus residencies,” said SBE Dean Darrell Radson, “students will develop a strategic perspective and reinforce collaboration and communication skills while interacting with their cohort and faculty members.” In a cohort program, students move through all classes and phases of the program together as a group, from beginning to graduation.

In other business, the Board

  • Voted to award the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction to Raymond L. Smith, sixth president of Michigan Tech. Smith, for whom the ME-EM building is named, is recognized as one of the most authoritative authors and lecturers on minerals and metals. The Melvin Calvin Medal is the highest honor that the University bestows on individuals who have exhibited truly distinguished professional and personal accomplishment and have been associated with Michigan Tech.
  • Approved residence hall and apartment room-and-board rates for the 2010-11 academic year, including increases ranging from 4.10 to 4.33 percent for the residence halls and 4.62 to 7.95 percent for Daniell Heights apartments. A single room in the new residential apartment building will cost $8,400 for the year, with a 50-meal per semester food plan.
  • Learned that the Graduate School is piloting a National Service Graduate Fellowship Program to better meet the needs of students who have provided significant service to the US. Active military personnel, honorably discharged veterans, military retirees, and Peace Corps and Americorps volunteers who have successfully completed their service are eligible for the fellowship.

Published in Tech Today