COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri System Board of Curators unanimously agreed to freeze tuition for the 2014-15 school year for in-state undergraduates at its meeting Wednesday.
The freeze will keep prices at $274 per credit hour for MU and the Missouri University of Science and Technology, $270.10 for the University of Missouri-Kansas City and $315.80 for the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The tuition freeze is the first since the 2010-11 school year.
According to a news release from the UM System, most students in the system will pay $8,335 in tuition for the academic year, which is below the national average of public doctoral institutions.
To make up for the unchanged tuition rates against inflation of 1.5 percent, the curators voted to raise tuition for nonresident undergraduates and all graduate students. At MU, the rates for nonresident undergraduate and graduate students will increase 3 percent per credit hour, while resident graduate students will have to pay an extra 1.5 percent. That increases the credit hour rate for nonresident undergraduates from $752.30 to $774.90 per credit hour, affecting about 29 percent of MU students.
In addition to these changes, the MU Law and Medical schools will increase rates by 1.5 percent per credit hour for residents and nonresidents to match inflation. The MU College of Veterinary Medicine will increase its in-state tuition 6 percent per credit hour while out-of-state tuition will increase 2.5 percent per credit hour.
The curators also voted to decrease the out-of-state distant online tuition from $774 to $350 per credit hour. The decrease only applies to classes offered exclusively online. MU Interim Provost Ken Dean said the current rates were not considered competitive and the decrease will bring a 60 percent increase in online enrollment.
Changes in tuition will take effect in the summer 2014 session.
The curators also approved other new fees at Wednesday's meeting:
- A new fee will be implemented in the MU College of Engineering, which will gradually increase over five years.
In the first year, Missouri residents will pay an extra $30 dollars per credit hour, according to the fee Dean proposed. Nonresidents will pay an extra $70 per credit hour, which will only be applied to courses taken within the College of Engineering. Dean said the fee will generate about $1.5 million in new revenue in its first year and $6 million over five years. The money will be used to hire about 20 new tenure-track faculty, give raises to high-performing faculty and staff and renovate and develop labs and equipment, Dean said.
Dean said the fee is needed because the College of Engineering's enrollment is growing and the educational costs of engineering majors are greater than many other majors.
- Another new fee will be implemented for MU classes in the College of Arts and Science for the 2014-15 school year. Dean proposed a new fee of $25 per credit hour, which will only apply to classes at and above the 2000 level. The curators will vote next year whether to freeze or increase the fee. The curators also voted to eliminate arts and science lab fees for all class levels.
The board also voted to increase several existing fees:
- MU undergraduate student activity, facility and health service fees will increase by 1.5 percent, effective fiscal year 2015. Housing will increase by 4 percent, and there will be a 2 percent increase in the dining rate. The housing and dining rate increases are in line with MU’s Residential Life Master Plan, which has about five years left until completion, said Thomas Richards, UM System vice president for finance and treasurer.
- The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will increase fees by $2.50 per credit hour, for a total fee of $48.70 per credit hour. This revenue will help address increased demand for experiential learning environments in the college.
- The College of Education will increase fees by $8 per credit hour, for a total fee of $47.60 per credit hour. This revenue will cover the cost of supervising student teachers under the new state-mandated standards requiring more time in experiential learning.
- The School of Health Professions will increase fees by $16 per credit hour, for a total fee of $92.40 per credit hour.
- The School of Journalism will increase fees by $13 per credit hour, for a total fee of $74 per credit hour.
- The School of Nursing will increase undergraduate fees by $3.10, for a total fee of $70 per credit hour. It will increase graduate rates by $4.40, for a total fee of $190 per credit hour.
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.