Assuring Quality and Building Value

MSU’s planning and budget process affirms annually that stakeholders receive the best possible value for their higher education investment. MSU also is committed to ensuring that our doors are open to qualified students across the socioeconomic spectrum and to engaging in communities across the state to improve quality of life and build a sound economic future.

Helping Move Michigan’s Economy Forward

As Michigan’s land-grant university, MSU’s impact reaches across the state and around the world. MSU welcomes students from all 83 Michigan counties, all 50 U.S. States and over 130 countries. MSU’s combination of activities results in an economic impact that exceeds $5 billion annually, with over $480 million in spending directed towards local businesses.

As mentioned above, MSU engages in sponsored program activity that exceeds $580 million annually, with research highlights that include: Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, Bio/computational Evolution Action Consortium (BEACON), Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research, Center for Research on Ingredient Safety, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Grand Rapids medical campuses, MSU Bioeconomy Institute. As evidence of these efforts, MSU ranks second in the Big Ten for three-year rate of change in research and development expenditures as collected by the Higher Education Research and Development survey conducted by the National Science Foundation.

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence and Value

MSU has successfully navigated some of the most challenging times higher education has faced. Despite these challenges, MSU has augmented its position among the top 100 universities in the world, serving Michigan first.

MSU features 27 undergraduate and graduate programs in the top 20 nationwide and ranks 29th nationally for public undergraduate education according to U.S. News and World Report. Currently, MSU’s graduation rate of 79 percent outperforms the U.S. News and World Report’s predicated rate by 11 percent, second in the Big Ten for this important indicator of institutional quality. Additionally, more than 90 percent of 2014 graduates surveyed were employed or continued their education within 6 months of graduation. Of the 2014 graduates with employment, 63 percent are employed in Michigan and 78 percent found employment in the Midwest.

Concurrently, MSU is committed to ensuring that its doors are open to qualified students across the socioeconomic spectrum. MSU routinely enrolls over 8,500 Pell grant students, approximately 3,500 more that our Carnegie peers. Not surprisingly, MSU general fund financial aid now exceeds $127M, representing growth of 134 percent over 10 years. These efforts are evidenced in the fact that MSU outperforms state and national peers for both the proportion of undergraduates who graduate with debt and for average debt load. Finally, MSU’s cohort default rate of 4 percent is also lower than state and national indicators illustrates that our graduates are consistently capable of applying their education into successful careers. Additionally, MSU was also recently selected as the number one university in the state for the social mobility of low-income students. 

MSU’s consistent performance results in spite of being ranked 47th of 48 reporting states for ten-year change in state appropriations to higher education. In fact, MSU consistently operates with $3,000 per student in appropriations than Carnegie peers. If MSU were funded at the Carnegie average, MSU would operate with in excess of $125 million more in appropriations funding.

MSU’s commitment to high performance has allowed it to address the financial challenged of the last decade while maintaining and improving its standing as one of the top 100 global universities, increasing financial aid, and including 3,500 more Pell students than Carnegie peers. MSU routinely ranks as among the most efficient in the Big Ten for employee efficiency, ranks as the most efficient for grounds and custodial maintenance, consistently preforms as the best for energy costs, and routinely outperforms national indexes for changes in health care costs. MSU holds an AA+ bond rating, consistently out performing its peers in key financial ratios, illustrating its prudent approach to financial management. MSU imposes a 1 percent reduction factor on all operating units annually to assure efficacy and to invest in the university’s long-term goals.

To learn more, explore Ensuring Access and OpportunityAdvancing Innovation and ExcellenceBuilding Value and Investing in Michigan's Future



Providing financial aid, academic opportunities, and value

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Enhancing a culture of high performance, guiding future plans, expanding top programs and research

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Building value


Increasing efficient operations, sustainable decision-making, energy and healthcare savings

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Driving the knowledge economy, attracting talent, improving quality of life

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