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University of Missouri finance chief says 5% tuition increase crucial to staying competitive

COLUMBIA, Mon. (RMIZ)

The University of Missouri System’s chief financial officer told trustees that a 5% tuition fee should be increased to increase course offerings and research, and to recruit and retain quality teachers.

The UM System Board of Curators heard information about the proposed tuition fee increase during a meeting on Thursday. A vote is expected when the trustees meet in May.

While meeting documents, Ryan Rapp, the vice president of finance and chief financial officer at the UM system, said the tuition increase is necessary to support success and academic excellence. The proposal to increase tuition fees by 2% to 5% on the system’s four campuses also requires the state legislature to relax the limits for how many public universities can increase tuition fees. That limit is currently linked to inflation.

The tuition changes, if approved, will take effect in the fall.

Rapp said keeping tuition at or below inflation is no longer tenable and increases of 2-3% from inflation are necessary.

Documents show that the UM system has lost 400 permanent faculty functions in the past two decades. The student to tenure ratio went from 23: 1 to 37: 1. Documents also show that as graduation rates improve, Missouri students are leaving for institutions with more resources.

Rapp said the Columbia campus can increase what students pay by up to 9.1%, but will only increase tuition by 5% under the plan. Prices should stay in line with those of other public research universities, Rapp says.

Meeting documents suggest that a 5% MU tuition increase will enable the number of course sections to increase, increase scholarships, renovate classrooms and laboratories, and increase research to attract better faculties and grow the economy.

Under the plan, UMKC should increase tuition by 4.1%, Missouri S&T by 3.4%, and UMSL by 2%.

Christian Basi, a spokesperson for MU, said the increased tuition fees will help MU hire more teachers and more advisers and help students graduate faster. The increased tuition will also help provide more resources and startups so that the university and students can be successful, leaders said.

“The tuition increase will add to the resources we have to support the students and help them graduate faster,” said Basi.

With the pandemic continuing to affect many lives, MU students were concerned about increasing tuition fees by an additional 5%.

Ellie Miguel, a student at MU, had questions for college and wondered where the money was going and why now?

“My question to the school is: where does this money go? If I still do half of my school online, why do I have to pay more?” Miguel said.

The system will receive more than $ 270,000 in federal stimulus money in 2021 and 2022, which trustees say has been a significant help during the pandemic.

Come back here and check out ABC 17 News at 5 and 6 to learn more about this evolving story.

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