SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Lake Superior State University, in a move to make itself more affordable to a wider range of students, will charge the same tuition rate for any student from across North America, including those from Michigan.
The university's board of trustees on Friday approved the "One Rate at Lake State" program.
Effective in the fall semester of 2015, every student from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will be charged the same amount to attend the Sault Ste. Marie school.
The current tuition for undergraduates is $5,064 per semester for Michigan residents and $7,596 for non-residents. Although tuition rates have not been established yet for the 2015-16 academic year, Lake Superior State anticipates any increase to be in the 2- to 3-percent range, school spokesman Bill Eilola said Saturday.
"So the new rate will result in a savings of $2,532 per semester for those outside of Michigan. That a 33-percent savings," Eilola said.
"Because of our location on the Canadian border, we enroll a significant number of students from Ontario each year," he said. "Being the smallest of the state universities in Michigan, we find that students aren't as aware of our programs as they might be of others. So this is an effort to make our programs more available and affordable."
Lake Superior said it is the first university in the state to establish a set tuition rate for all North American students.
University President Tom Pleger cited a recent economic impact analysis by a Lake Superior State finance professor that found each student who attends the school brings in $45,000 worth of economic activity to the eastern Upper Peninsula region.
Plus, Pleger said, most LSSU graduates stay in Michigan to live and work.