In meeting documents, Ryan Rapp, the vice president for finance and chief financial officer at the UM System, says the tuition increase is necessary to support success and academic excellence. The proposal to increase tuition by between 2% and 5% on the system’s four campuses also requires the state legislature to relax limits on how much public universities can increase tuition. That limit is currently tied to inflation. The UM System Board of Curators heard information about the proposed tuition increase during a meeting Thursday. A vote is expected when curators meet in May.
The tuition changes, if approved, would go into effect in the fall. Meeting documents suggest a 5% tuition hike will allow MU to increase the number of course sections, increase scholarships, renovate classrooms and laboratories and increase research to attract better faculty and grow the economy.
Rapp said the Columbia campus could raise what students pay by up to 9.1% but will only increase tuition by 5% under the plan. Pricing needs to stay in line with other public research universities, Rapp says. The plan calls for UMKC to increase tuition by 4.1%, Missouri S&T by 3.4%, and UMSL by 2%.
Documents show the UM System lost 400 tenured faculty positions over the last two decades. The student-to-tenured-faculty ratio went from 23:1 to 37:1. Documents also show while graduation rates are improving, Missouri students are leaving for institutions with more resources. Rapp said holding tuition at or below inflation is no longer sustainable and that increases of 2-3% over inflation are necessary.
Check back here and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6 for more on this developing story. The system is set to receive more than $270,000 in federal stimulus money in 2021 and 2022, which curators say has been a significant help during the pandemic.
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