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Missouri State University’s Board of Governors has voted to raise tuition for the 2012-2013 school year. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore was at the Friday afternoon meeting and has details.
The tuition hike amounts to $6.48 per credit hour for undergraduate in-state students, and $24 per credit hour for our-of-state undergraduate students. Current tuition for undergraduate resident students is $194 per credit hour; next year, it will be $200.48.
Clif Smart is the interim president of MSU.
“We know that cost is a factor for our students in choosing the university. So, our goal is to provide the best value possible. But we have to maintain quality, and we believe that a tuition increase is necessary to do that,” Smart said.
The state of Missouri is facing a significant budget shortfall for the next fiscal year, and Smart said the university is moving ahead with the expectation that it will see about a 9 million dollar cut in state funding.
The budget that the Missouri House passed and sent to Governor Jay Nixon earlier this month restored higher education funding to the same amount as last year, but the governor has described that overall budget as "dead wrong," indicating that a veto is likely.
State law caps how much state universities can raise tuition for undergraduates. Normally, most schools are not allowed to raise their tuition and fees by more than the rate of inflation. That rate this year is three percent.
However, MSU’s tuition increase is just over that, at 3.3 percent.
The university’s interim Chief Financial Officer, Steve Foucart, says MSU is allowed by law to go above that rate of inflation, because its tuition and fees are lower than the state average.
“If you’re below the average, which Missouri State is, then we get three percent of the average of all thirteen universities [as our cap]. So that’s why our rate [of increase in tuition] is slightly higher than three percent,” Foucart said.
And that limit amounts to $6.48, meaning that the university is raising tuition to the maximum amount allowed by state law for undergraduate, in-state students.
Smart pointed out that, compared to other Missouri schools, MSU is near the bottom in terms of dollars increases in tuition, and that it remains below the state and national average.
Basic fees for graduate students will go up as well, and tuition for the West Plains campus will see an increase of 4 dollars per credit hour, from $107 to $111 per credit hour for in-state students, and from $214 to $222 for non-Missouri residents.
For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.