A Message From the President & CEO…
Dear Baker College Community,
I wanted to address the recent Detroit Free Press and ProPublica news article. It is difficult to understand the purpose of the articles; however, one can conclude the intention is to do irreparable harm to our students, alumni, employees, and the college.
Regrettably, the article deliberately distorts facts and presents misleading information. As a nimble, boutique, non-profit college with a rich 112-year history, our unwavering commitment is ensuring our students receive a comprehensive, quality education. A dedicated success team backs their journey and supports their academic, financial, career, and student-centered needs. Moreover, we provide our students with a diverse array of free resources, including tutoring, mental health and wellness counseling, and career coaching, just to name a few.
We make a substantial investment in our students. According to the 2021 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data, we allocate $3,000 more per student than the average four-year public university in Michigan. Our dedication to the future also extends to our communities. We recently inaugurated a new campus in Royal Oak and have continued to enhance programs across our six campuses in Michigan. Moreover, we introduced esports, a new mascot, and established a vibrant new alumni community.
Baker College is unwavering in our commitment to transparency and affordable education. According to 2022 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data, for four-year degree-granting institutions in Michigan, Baker College’s full-time tuition is $12,710, and is lower than the average Public, $14,361, or Private, $29,936, tuition. We also joined forces with the American Council of Education (ACE) and have signed on to participate in the College Cost Transparency Initiative.
Additionally, for the current academic year 2023-24, we froze undergraduate tuition, reduced master’s and doctoral graduate tuition, and continue to offer scholarships and grants to reduce tuition further. Furthermore, eligible new students can benefit from free housing, a $4,600 savings, while returning students enjoy a 50% reduction, or $2,300 savings, at three of our four residence hall campuses. We also established the BeFree Tuition Guarantee program for students facing greater financial need.
To help students reduce their reliance on loans—again, tuition is lower than the average four-year Public or Private institution in the State of Michigan—we do offer institutional aid. Again, according to the 2021 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the median student loan debt (graduates and those who attended) for Baker College is $16,753, the average at Michigan Public Universities is $17,971, and the average at Michigan Private institutions is $17,575.
In addition to being accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Baker College has 19 distinct specialized program accreditations, ensuring the college has a rigorous, quality teaching and learning environment; all accreditations are in good standing. Moreover, Baker College outperforms the national average on most specialized accreditation exams, including a 94.74% pass rate for first-time nursing student bachelor’s degree test takers on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) compared to the national average of 89.52%. Also, our Bachelor of Business Administration students outperformed the national average by five percent on the Peregrine Exam, ensuring our students can master core business principles.
Moreover, Baker College is one of the pioneers of online education. The college holds a quality certification from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) for distance learning and an Exemplary Endorsement from the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), one of only seven awarded nationwide.
With extensive offerings of concurrent, direct, and dual enrollment courses for our high school partners, Baker College is the only four-year institution in Michigan to receive a National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) accreditation, a distinction that recognizes high-quality programs.
Baker College also received Gold Status, previously Silver, from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), demonstrating the highest level of veteran-centric services offered by a higher education institution.
It is difficult to understand the article’s position of the college being perilous; however, we assure you we are not. We are transforming and continue to see improvements in retention, graduation rates, and growth in new student enrollment.
The article continually questions the validity of the institution, its employees, students, and alumni. Our students are resilient and tenacious, and our employees are passionate and dedicated to their success. The average tenure of our employees is approximately ten years, and the most common response given as to why they work at Baker College is, “…it’s because of our students.” We care deeply about their success, and our student-first philosophy is our compass and guide as to how we conduct ourselves.
We take significant pride in what we do. Thank you for representing Baker College so well and for the continued care you take of our students, alumni, and one another.
For additional information, please find supplemental information attached.
Jacqui Spicer, EdD
President & CEO