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Missouri Curators Approve More Modest Tuition Hike

Allison Blood, KMOX
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMOX) - University of Missouri curators have agreed to raise tuition at the system’s four campuses this fall by an average of 3 percent for state residents, but it’s going to come at a price.

In a statement, UM President Timothy Wolfe said this will likely mean cutting programs and some 200 employees. The release stated that it would ultimately be the job of the individual campuses to decide where the cuts will fall. UMSL administration will be meeting this week to begin making those cuts. The process is not short, and will require the campuses to stay within guidelines set up by the UM System to ensure the quality of education isn’t compromised.

Board of Curators Chair Dave Bradley says the curators felt they could decrease the tuition hike because of the money Missouri is getting from a national mortage settlement. The state is getting 41 million dollars, and Governor Nixon promised 40 of it to higher education. Of that, 18 million will be awarded to the UM System. Bradley says that won’t shore up the budgets completely though. He says any programs that are deemed non-essential will be subject to cuts. He defined that as any program that doesn’t increase the number of people getting degrees.

The increase is less than half the increase proposed by leaders of the four-campus system earlier this month, which was about 7 percent for the Columbia campus and 6 percent for the other three. Because the increase will match inflation,  the university will probably won’t need approval from the state Department of Higher Education or Gov. Jay Nixon.

Missouri State law caps tuition increases to the rate of inflation, which is currently at 3 percent, and greater increases require approval by Missouri’s higher education department.

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