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University of Missouri Will Not Pursue Guaranteed Tuition; Alternative Proposal to be Discussed with UM Board of Curators

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

Nov 29, 2005

Contact: Jennifer Hollingshead
Office: (573) 882-0601
E-mail: hollingsheadj@umsystem.edu

University of Missouri Will Not Pursue Guaranteed Tuition; Alternative Proposal to be Discussed with UM Board of Curators

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd said today that he will continue searching for ways to keep tuition increases stable and predictable but he will not recommend locking tuition rates for four or five years for incoming freshmen.

Instead, President Floyd will discuss a new tuition proposal at the Dec. 1-2 University of Missouri Board of Curators meeting in Kansas City. Under the new proposal, the University would hold tuition increases at the rate of inflation so long as state financial support also keeps pace with inflation. For a complete description, please visit the following Web site: http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/news/releases/NewTuitionProposal.pdf.

President Floyd toured the state from August to October to hear what Missourians had to say about tuition costs. Making 19 stops in communities including West Plains, Hannibal, Marceline, Lebanon, Springfield, Kansas City and St. Louis, Floyd fielded a variety of questions and comments about the possibility of locking tuition for incoming freshmen to curb large and unpredictable increases.

“I have said from the beginning that guaranteeing tuition was not an idea that I would support without Missourians’ stamp of approval,” President Floyd said. “While some, especially parents, liked the idea of guaranteed tuition as a way to budget with greater confidence, I more frequently heard challenges to the concept.”

Students and student groups on the four University of Missouri campuses generally opposed the concept of guaranteed tuition, predicting that costs could increase too steeply for each incoming class. Others, noting large cuts in recent years to state funding for higher education, questioned the University’s ability to lock its revenues and costs four years in advance.

“During my statewide tour, I found that Missourians understand guaranteeing stable tuition requires a special partnership between the state and the University,” President Floyd said. “I pledge to continue to work with state leaders to keep education costs as affordable, predictable and stable as possible.”