The following is additional information and guidance regarding some of UM-Flint's most common—and perhaps most contentious—talking points.
Key UM-Flint Messaages
Naturally, the topic of how to pay for college comes up frequently during student recruitment activities.
Many assume the tuition rate at UM-Flint is the same as Ann Arbor, when this is not the case. The University of Michigan-Flint has long had one of the lowest tuition rates among public institutions of higher learning in the state.
The impulse is often to play up this lower price point. Yet any product, much less any institution of higher learning, who desires to be seen as premier, prestigious, and preferred should avoid price wars. We are not the “Leaders and Best… and the cheapest deal going.” We are the “Leaders and Best.” Period.
When addressing the issue of cost, it is important to communicate in terms of "value."
Every individual decides the value of things in their life, including education. UM-Flint is an excellent educational value, combining the prestige of the University of Michigan with truly unique, always personalized engaged learning experiences found nowhere else.
The city of Flint is an integral part of UM-Flint campus life and UM-Flint curricula: the full UM-Flint experience.
We are proud of our urban location and our strong ties with the community we were establised to serve.
As students transition into adulthood, many desire to experience an authentic urban living situation. Among Michigan's public universities, UM-Flint's centrality to its city is matched only by that of Wayne State's to Detroit. Yet, Flint and UM-Flint afford this experience at a scale that may be a more comfortable fit.
The best way to combat negative perceptions of this city among those who have never set foot in it is to encourage them to do just that: visit Flint. Even life-long residents of Genesee County who have not been downtown in decades (yet are confident they have a firm grasp of its realities) should be encouraged to come for a visit and see all the efforts that are being made to transform the city. Introduce them to individuals working to make these changes reality. It is harder to badmouth something in front of the people doing the work to make it better. All campus communicators should familiarize themselves with the projects and people that personify Flint’s potential.
What better place to put knowledge to work than Flint, Michigan?
The recent addition of new businesses and events in the area have added new energy and vitality. However, in spite of many positive developments, challenges remain. Crime, high unemployment, and state intervention in the city's finances are realities that weigh into the perception that many have of Flint.
When pressed about this community's problems, the problems should be acknowledged. Every city has its share of issues, and Flint is no different. Our difference is our unshakeable spirit and sense of purpose that continues to propel the community forward. The University of Michigan-Flint is part of that positive momentum. After all, applying learning towards efforts to bring about positive changes is the goal of all academic disciplines all over the world.
All cities, and particularly former manufacturing centers in the Midwest, face unique challenges brought about by factors that are difficult to control. Crime is one of these challenges, and Flint is no stranger to it. UM-Flint participates in many efforts to better understand and effect crime in our community.
FBI crime statistics continue to show Flint's downtown neighborhood is on par with out-county communities when it comes to instances of violent crime.
The UM-Flint Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a partner on all efforts to keep citizens safe. DPS is very involved on crime prevention efforts in the city, and are working with other police agencies on implementing new policies and procedures to help combat crime throughout Flint.
The recent marketing research by Maguire and Associates shows that UM-Flint has come into its own as an outstanding public university. At the same time, UM-Flint continues to greatly benefit from being one of three campuses of the University of Michigan.
It is important to emphasize the strong attributes that UM-Flint brings to the greater U-M whole.
UM-Flint is serious about access to education and what it means to award a Michigan degree. U-M's longest-serving president James Burrill Angell famously describes this mission as providing "an uncommon education for the common man."
U-M would not be what it is today without UM-Flint. Primarily a teaching institution, UM-Flint is known for the strength of its faculty. Yet, undergraduate research thrives at UM-Flint, and our expertise in engaged learning has been recognized at the local, state, national, and international level. It is important for all UM-Flint faculty and staff to express our pride in these acheivements.
Here are answers to some of regularly asked questions about the benefits of being part of the University of Michigan system:
- There is only one U-M degree and it is awarded to students at UM-Flint, UM-Dearborn, and UM-Ann Arbor. There is no such thing as a UM-Flint or UM-Dearborn degree.
- UM-Flint students have the same ability to purchase season tickets to Wolverine athletic events as students in Ann Arbor.
- UM-Flint students have access to the entire University of Michigan library system, as well as increased access to learning and research technology, equipment, and facilities at other U-M campuses.
- All graduates from UM-Flint become members of the University of Michigan Alumni Society, the largest alumni organization in the world.
- UM-Flint students can try out for the same sport teams and clubs that Ann Arbor students try out for.