University leaders cite quality concerns with declining state support, rising costs
COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri System will recommend to the board of curators an average 5.5 percent increase in tuition and required fees for in-state undergraduate students. Curators will discuss and vote on this topic during their regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 27-28 in Columbia.
Recommended increases among the university’s four-campus system range from 4.7 percent at the University of Missouri-St. Louis to 6.6 percent at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. The Columbia campus is recommending an increase to its tuition and required fees of 5.8 percent, while UMKC is recommending an increase of 4.8 percent.
This is the first time tuition and fees on each campus will be decoupled, allowing campuses to recommend increases based on their particular needs, including their individual market and economic circumstances.
“We wish we could continue to hold the line on tuition and fees as we have for the past two years,” said Steve Owens, interim president of the University of Missouri system. “But even with the increases we will recommend to the curators, the proposed 7 percent cut in state appropriations will leave about a $42 million shortfall for the University—and that’s after we cut an additional $11.3M in efficiencies that we identified in the process of planning for next year’s budget.
“Managing the remaining funding gap will be a major challenge for our campuses as we all work to balance the need to maintain the quality of our unique mission with our desire to provide student access to an affordable education, advance health care across the state, and invest in moving our researchers’ innovations into the marketplace to create new jobs.
“State funding for this university has declined steadily over the past decade,” he added, noting the university system has added 17,000 students, while state support per student has dropped 28 percent, from $10,462 to $7,510.
At a time when Missouri seeks to grow its economy and depends on an educated workforce and more jobs, and America faces intensifying global competition, we urge Missourians to carefully consider the importance of investing in education, and viewing it as a solution, not as a cost,” Owens said.
If the curators approve the system’s recommendations, the 5.5 percent average tuition increase for Fiscal Year 2012 will take effect this summer.
With the increases, University of Missouri in-state, undergraduate students would pay an average of $8,903 per year depending on the campus they choose to attend. However, if grant aid increases at the same rate it did from FY08 to FY10, the average amount a student would pay would be $4,211. The neediest students with a family income less than $40,000 would pay an average of $988, and in some cases less with additional funds being available for books, supplies and living expenses. To minimize the impact this increase will have on the neediest students, the university plans to reinvest 20 percent of the increase in revenue generated from the tuition and fee increase into financial aid for those students. The campus financial aid offices will work closely with currently enrolled students to address their financial need.
At this week’s meeting, curators also will consider increasing nonresident undergraduate tuition and fees, resident and nonresident graduate tuition and fees, various professional school tuition rates, as well as supplemental and other related enrollment fees.
For more details on these recommendations, visit: http://umurl.us/59Ex.