U-M struggles to maintain its mission of educating the working class
This story provides an in-depth look at the current state of the University of Michigan’s historical mission to provide “an uncommon education for the common man,” covering marketing and other outreach efforts, admissions strategies, and declining state support. It focuses on U-M’s practice over the past decades of admitting more out-of state-students, who pay higher tuition and come from wealthier families, while also steeply increasing in-state tuition. Today out-of-state students make up roughly half of the student body at Michigan, up from 30% in the late 1960s. On the other hand, Michigan’s working class families may feel priced out of the Michigan experience. The reporter contends that financial barriers to attending selective public universities like Michigan, combined with a growing working-class skepticism toward higher education, are limiting social mobility in America.