How much this time

How much this time

How much this time

There is one way in which Missouri Southern lags behind all other four-year institutions in the state of Missouri – tuition. Perhaps the Board of Governors will remedy this when they meet today, but we hope not.

Any tuition changes must be submitted to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education by certain deadlines, the next is March 1 and tuition rates are on the Board’s agenda.

Included in last year’s Senate Bill 389 was a provision called the “Higher Education Student Funding Act.” This act sets limits on tuition increases.

Institutions with above-average tuition are supposed to hold down their tuition to the percent increase of the Consumer Price Index. Institutions with lower than average tuition can raise tuition by the percent increase of Consumer Price Index times average tuition. Institutions who need to raise tuition more than the preset amounts must consult with the CBHE.

Southern has a long history of priding itself on its affordability. Last year’s increase was a mere $5 per credit hour. In 2004, the Board lowered the cost of tuition by $2 per credit hour.

In addition to the lowest four-year tuition in the state, Southern also is looking at the largest appropriation increase for a Missouri four-year institution.

In the next few years, construction costs will dominate Southern’s budget. As the Board and the administration view the looming mountain of expenses we – the students – hope they remember the influx of state funds.

State regulations cap the increases. Student budgets are focused on the affordability factor. We will have to wait to see what the administration recommends to the Board.