KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees passed a balanced 2020-21 general fund budget Thursday that accounts for a $76 million shortfall tied to projected reductions in state funding, actual losses in tuition and fee revenue and other factors. The final budget is $9 million better than projected in May.
Enrollment proved to be one of the better-than-expected elements in this year’s budget picture. Predicted in May to be down as much as 15% in some national higher education models and similarly in the University’s own forecast, WMU’s fall enrollment is 20,490, down by 4.6%, which is less than a third of the predicted decrease. Out-of-state enrollment grew slightly. The student body also increased by 585 students through its expanded partnership with Guizhou University of Finance and Economics in China.
“On balance, we’ve been able to prevail against the pandemic-generated headwinds of