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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

MSU Students in Springfield, West Plains to See Higher Tuition in Fall

Scott Harvey
MSU's Administration Building, Carrington Hall/Credit: Scott Harvey

The Missouri State University Board of Governors is expected this week to approve tuition and fee increases at its Springfield and West Plains campuses.

If approved at its Thursday meeting, undergraduate resident tuition for a Springfield student this fall will increase by $1 to $205 per credit hour. Out-of-state undergrads at the flagship campus will experience a 2 percent tuition hike, and regular internet-based tuition will increase by $10 per credit hour to $285 per credit hour.

MSU President Clif Smart said in a news release, “Our tuition is below state and national averages; however our quality programs and outstanding faculty compares with any other public, master’s granting university.”

Additionally, student services fees will rise $11 per student per semester, which utilizes the full .8 percent increase allowed per the Consumer Price Index (CPI). That cap was put in place by the Missouri Higher Education Student Funding Act (HESFA), and applies only to tuition and fees required of all undergraduate resident students. It does not apply to student approved fees and program specific fees. 

Smart is also recommending a 20 percent increase in parking permit fees, the first increase of its kind since 2006. MSU currently has 10 types of parking passes available, ranging from an $18 per year motorcycle pass to a $300 annual fee for Monroe Apartment residents.

In addition to the new parking fees, Smart is proposing a new permit to be offered for daytime parking only in Orange Lots for $65.00 per year. Currently the lowest commuter lot rate is $96.00.

MSU-West Plains

On the West Plains campus, basic fees for students will increase from $114 to $119 per credit hour for Missouri residents and from $228 to $238 for non-Missouri residents.

“Since I have been at Missouri State-West Plains, our enrollment has grown by 25 percent and inflation has grown by 14 percent, but our state appropriations have only grown by 3 percent,” said Chancellor Drew Bennett. “We are very mindful of the impact that a tuition increase will have on the students in our area, but after careful consideration, and with the input of faculty, staff and student representatives, it was decided than an increase was necessary this year to continue to provide quality academic programs and the services needed for an increased student population.”

A news release went on to state that a number of other fees will increase as well.

The university says the one for courses in the Associate of Science in Nursing degree program will go from $145 to $152 per credit hour for Missouri residents and from $290 to $304 for non-residents.  Fees for courses in the Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care program will go from $137 to $144 per credit hour for Missouri residents and from $274 to $288 per credit hour for non-residents.  The cost of taking online courses will go from $129 to $135 per credit hour for Missouri residents and non-residents.  Students taking courses through the campus’ high school dual credit/dual enrollment program will pay $60 per credit hour, up from $57 per credit hour this year.

According to the school, the fee structure for nursing, respiratory care and online courses are different than that for other classes due to the additional costs associated in providing these programs.  High school dual credit/dual enrollment courses are offered at half the rate of normal tuition.

Students staying in the Grizzly House residence hall also will see an increase in room and board.  Those fees will go up from $2,740 per semester for housing and a 20-meal-per-week plan at the Putnam Student Center cafeteria to $2,795 per semester in 2015-16.  Summer charges will increase from $1,170 to $1,194.

And, pending approval of students in their annual student government elections this spring, the Capital Projects Fee will increase from $15 to $20 per semester.  University officials noted 50 percent of the fees collected go toward student-approved capital projects on campus while the remainder is used for campus grounds, parking and maintenance.