No MU-Governor debate this year over tuition hikes

Jan 31, 2013

University of Missouri undergraduates who are state residents will pay 1.7 percent more in tuition next year as the four-campus system holds its annual hike to the rate of inflation.

The Board of Curators approved the tuition increase Thursday while meeting at the Kansas City campus. Room and board will also rise.

The increase for the 2013-14 academic year is slightly less than earlier estimates of a 2 percent boost. State law limits annual tuition increases to the federal Consumer Price Index. Larger increases require approval by Missouri's higher education department.

Annual in-state tuition at the flagship Columbia campus will rise to $9,343, an increase of $158.

Out-of-state undergraduates will see similar increases in Columbia and Kansas City but pay 4.4 percent more at the Rolla campus and 6.8 percent in St. Louis.

This is a contrast from this time last year, when the University of Missouri System and the state were going through a very public debate over tuition hikes. The UM System was considering significant hikes to in-state tuition, amid significant funding cuts from the state. But Governor Jay Nixon put significant pressure on Universities to “think twice” before proposing significant hikes. Ultimately, the UM System came to a similar result last year, keeping in-state tuition at the rate of inflation, and putting more of the burden on out-of-state students. It resulted in a $47.1 million shortfall in the UM System budget.

In his state of the state speech this year, Governor Nixon proposed funding increases to higher education, nothing like the 12.5% cuts he proposed in his state of the state last year. And this year, the Board of Curators made its decision quietly. If there was any debate, it didn’t happen in public view this time around.