MARQUETTE — Students attending Northern Michigan University will have to shell out a few more dollars to attend classes this fall.

The NMU Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 4.2% increase in tuition fees at its board meeting Friday morning.

Students with 56 credits or more will pay another $322 per credit hour. Those with less than 56 credits will see an increase of $74 per credit hour.

There were a number of factors that led to the board voting on the increase, including what’s been a decline in the amount of funding the school receives each year from the state.

“We are getting on a proportional basis less and less from the state each year,” said board member Rick Popp. “We believe that the funding approach and the cap approach disadvantages those of us, and especially us, being a low tuition university.”

“We’re going to work within it. We still have some tough decisions to make because we will have to cut budgets across the board. We want to do it in a intelligent way,” Popp added.

“We become the bad guys because we try to impose a significant amount of money increase to the parents and to the students who pay these tuition increases,” said board member Steve Mitchell.

“But we have absolutely no alternative. Our goal is to provide the best education that we can to our students.”

Officials are in the process of addressing a $2.3 million budget shortfall. Despite the increase, NMU still has the second lowest tuition rate in the state among public colleges and universities.