Britany Affolter-Caine, executive director of Michigan’s University Research Corridor — an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University —released the following statement today applauding the FY 2023 budget passed by the Michigan Legislature early this morning.

“The University Research Corridor applauds the Michigan Legislature’s investment in higher education as part of its fiscal year 2023 budget, specifically the net 3.7% increase in operations funding for Michigan’s universities and the supplemental investment in critical infrastructure and research at our universities deployed across the state. Altogether, this money is the largest investment in higher education in at least two decades and will positively impact our students, communities, and economy. It will help create more of the high-demand graduates that our business and industries need to thrive and the innovation they need to compete.

“We look forward to continuing the discussion on the $250M Postsecondary Scholarship Fund. Strong state investment in student financial aid can make an education at a world class research university possible for many more middle- and low-income students.”

The 2022 URC Economic Impact Report showed that for every dollar that the state has invested in URC institutions, the URC has put back $22 into the state economy. The three URC universities grant nearly 12,000 degrees in high-tech areas annually, as well as nearly 13,000 degrees in high-demand areas such as business, computer science and engineering, and nearly 2,500 medical degrees.

The three URC institutions enroll more than 139,000 students, and URC alumni account for nearly $1 out of every $5 in earnings and income statewide — $48.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. URC alumni also founded new businesses at nearly twice the national rate, contributing to the state’s economic growth.