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Students respond to Missouri State University 2023-2024 tuition increase

Sign at Missouri State University
Seth Graham
Sign at Missouri State University

It will cost more to attend Missouri State University next fall after the Board of Governor’s approved a $12 per credit hour increase for in-state undergraduate tuition last month, and a $25 increase for out-of-state tuition.

Before the Missouri State University Board of Governors approved the latest tuition increase, the last time the cost to attend the university went up was for the 2022-2023 school year – a 3.8 percent increase.

MSU President Clif Smart cites inflation as the reason for the latest increase in tuition costs.

“If you don’t also keep up with increasing compensation for your team, then you’re essentially giving them a pay cut. So, we got to do a meaningful compensation increase," said Smart. "We are working on something in the ballpark of 5 percent. And to fund that, because two thirds of our operating revenue comes from tuition and fees, that means we have to increase costs.”

According to Smart, tuition increase proposals are put together by the Executive Budget Committee and then presented to the MSU Board of Governors for approval. The committee is made up of 22 members, including deans, faculty, administration and the student body president.

Though MSU officials say the increase is needed, it doesn’t come without some consequences for students paying their own way, including undergraduate junior Carlisle Palmer.

“It’s a little upsetting. I have plans to move out of state after school and that sounds like that’s gonna push it back a bit, because getting a job right out of school also seems to be really hard right now," said Palmer.

Nia Harrison is an undergraduate senior who has been partly responsible for her college finances. She said she wouldn’t know how to ask about the tuition increases if she had any questions.

“Having no real direction — like, where do you even start?" she said. "Who do you even approach the university on a topic like this?”

MSU remains one of the cheaper public universities in Missouri to attend at $267 per credit hour this academic year. That's compared to Missouri Southern State in Joplin at $267.53 per credit hour, Southeast Missouri State at $258.70 per credit hour and University of Missouri-Columbia at $335.80 per credit hour, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Missouri State is the license holder for KSMU, and Meghan McKinney is a student reporter for KSMU and attends MSU.

Meghan McKinney is an undergraduate journalism student at Missouri State University. She works as a news reporter and announcer for KSMU. Her passions, other than journalism, are psychology, music, sign languages and dancing. She also runs a local music page on Facebook called "SGF Playlist."