Curators will vote on UM System tuition increase next month | State News

ROLLA — A 2.1 percent hike in tuition and required fees is being considered by UM System Board of Curators to battle declining enrollment and a drop in state financial support.

The increase would add about $200 a year to undergraduate resident students taking 15 hours per semester at MU, bringing the total bill to $9,645 a year. For out-of-state students, the increase in tuition and fees would be more than $500 a year at MU.

The 2.1 percent hike is the maximum allowed by state law, based on the rate of inflation. Curators could seek a waiver for a higher increase but did not indicate an intention to do so.

Curators discussed the proposal during a meeting Thursday in Rolla but did not vote on increasing tuition. The board will do so during its May meeting after the state budget is finalized by the legislature, curator and Finance Committee Chairman David Steelman said. In June, curators will approve the entire University of Missouri System operating budget.

The 2.1 percent tuition increase would provide $14.4 million to the UM System’s budget, UM System spokesman John Fougere said in an email. 

The system is anticipating an almost $9 million decline in tuition revenue across the system’s four campuses. In addition, state lawmakers are debating cutting as much as $40 million in UM System funding, though that amount won’t be determined until the state budget is finalized in early May.

Curators discussed other increases. Graduate tuition would also increase 2.1 percent at MU and more at other campuses. Professional school tuition would see different increases, ranging from 1.5 percent to 10 percent across the four campuses. MU’s medical school would see a 6 percent increase. 

Interim Vice President for Finance Ryan Rapp said the system would have to get creative to generate additional finances, looking at options such as partnerships or selling unneeded assets. The system will also look to identify programs it potentially can no longer afford, he said.

MU has already taken several steps to mitigate the effects of budget cuts and declining revenue.

In early April, MU announced it would lay off 20 administrative employees effective July 1. Five more will retire and not be replaced, according to MU spokesman Christian Basi. Cutting those positions saves MU $1.75 million for fiscal year 2018.

UM System President Mun Choi has said the UM System will also consider laying off nontenure track faculty members, though nothing has been finalized. Nontenure track faculty make up 43 percent of MU faculty members, according to previous Missourian reporting.

The four-campus system will also consider closing centers and institutes, and terminating degree programs with low enrollment.

The question of implementing differential tuition — adjusting tuition for different majors based on factors such as higher cost…

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