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CAP-IT Keeps Tuition Affordable

Missouri State Devises Plan to Help Address Rising Prices:

CAP-IT! Mike Smith has the story:

News Release

Missouri State University

University Communications Office

SPRINGFIELD ... And now there is CAP-IT.

"Missouri State University is well-known for its great educational value in Missouri and across the nation already, given the quality of education we offer and the price we charge," says Missouri State University President Michael T. Nietzel. "But today, in 2006, that is not enough. Missouri State intends to do even more to make the education it offers as affordable and predictable as possible for students and their families. That's why we created CAP-IT ... the Choice And Predictability In Tuition plan."

CAP-IT will be available to undergraduate degree-seeking students beginning in the fall of 2006. CAP-IT is a comprehensive plan based on two beliefs: 1) choice is power ... when students and their parents have choices over what and how they pay for higher education, they feel more in control of their future and education; and 2) while it is important to keep the price as low as possible, predictability is equally important for planning purposes.

The five key elements of CAP-IT are:

Year-By-Year Payment ... students and their families can choose to continue to pay year-by-year....the university will make every effort to keep the increases as low as possible...rates will be set as early as possible each year. In addition, the university will not plan to raise fees any more than necessary to cover the rate of inflation, depending on the level of the state appropriation to the institution.

Pre-Paid Tuition... parents can pre-pay tuition for up to four years at the current rate....for some families, this will be the least expensive option....in some cases, it may even be financially beneficial to borrow the money to pre-pay at the current year's rate.

Two-Year Fixed Tuition ... another option is to lock in a slightly higher rate for year one tuition which will then be locked in at the same rate for a second year ....this plan could allow students to pay less over a two-year period in exchange for them paying a bit more in the first year.

Four-Year Graduation Plans ... another factor determining the price of education is the length of time it takes to complete a degree or "time to degree"....the university will continue to work with students to help them graduate on schedule and, as necessary, create specific "curricular plans" for students to follow so they can complete their degrees in four years.

Financial Aid ... Missouri State will be more aggressive in its financial aid programs, especially in need-based aid to ensure access and affordability, with the goal of eventually increasing institutional need-based aid by at least $1 million....the university also will expand its markets by strategic use of out-of-state waivers and scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Missouri State expects to set its tuition and fees at the March 10 Board of Governors meeting. The specific rates for CAP-IT will be set at the same time.

Missouri State's tuition and fees are at the average for public institutions in Missouri and below the national average. Missouri State's room and board rates are among the state's lowest and well below the national average. Missouri State officials say CAP-IT will both complement and highlight the university's already low price.