Proposed tuition increase focus point of UM Curators meeting

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | 5:52 p.m. CST; updated 7:14 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

COLUMBIA — Students and parents will again find themselves delving deeper into their college funds if the University of Missouri System Board of Curators approves a tuition increase that will be proposed at its meetings Thursday and Friday in St. Louis.

According to documents provided by UM, a 4.1 percent increase in tuition has been recommended for the 2008-09 academic year, in line with the projected percentage increase of the Midwest’s consumer price index. The university cannot raise tuition rates any higher than at the consumer price index percentage in accordance with legislation passed in the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority bill last May, which was partially aimed at making higher education more affordable for Missouri residents.

In the past five years, tuition rates for in-state residents have increased by 47 percent, with rates for nonresidents jumping about 23 percent. Each percentage point increase in tuition would provide $3.8 million in revenue for the system under the proposed plan, according to the documents.

The per-credit hour price for an in-state undergraduate for 2008-09 would rise from $235.90 to $245.60. Nonresident fees would increase at a rate of almost $25 per credit hour, from $591.10 to $615.30, under the plan.

The proposed increase would be slightly less than the 5 percent hike in tuition between the 2005 and 2006 academic years. The current in-state tuition at MU, based on a schedule of 28 credit hours taken in an academic year, is $8,170. Nonresidents currently pay $18,116 for the same amount of academic credits, according to the university’s online fact sheet.

The Board of Curators will vote on the proposed tuition increase at its April meeting at the Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla.

St. Louis Curator Cheryl Walker will assume her new role as the board’s chairwoman at this week’s meeting. The session will also be UM Interim President Gordon Lamb’s final meeting at that position. President-Designate Gary Forsee will attend the meeting and serve as an observer, said university spokesman Scott Charton. Forsee will assume the presidency Feb. 18.

The public will also have unprecedented access to a portion of the meetings. For the first time, Friday’s general business session of the meeting will feature live Internet audio streaming at the system’s Web site. To listen in on Friday, click here.

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