Higher education is a critical element to fueling Michigan’s economy. Universities account for a growing share of the research and development conducted in the state that fuels the growth of start-up companies and attracts new businesses. Today, Michigan’s public universities account for over 6% of the total state economy and have the potential to create nearly 40,000 additional jobs in Michigan in the next decade. Higher learning also boosts lifetime earning potential. Median wages for Michigan workers with a bachelor’s degree are over twice as high as those with only a high school diploma. Further, they are far less likely to be unemployed.
Our leaders in Lansing understand that a strong higher education sector is crucial for a healthy state economy. For the third straight year, Governor Rick Snyder proposed—and the state Legislature enacted—increased state aid to universities. For FY 2015, universities received the largest single-year increase in more than a decade, and funding has increased 11 percent over FY 2012 levels – more than most other states.