The latest report from the national organization ‘The College Board’ released November 4 found Missouri has seen lower tuition increases than most states over the past five years. Missouri’s public, 4-year colleges and universities have increased tuition by 8 percent since 2010, compared to the national average 12.8 percent. Liz Coleman, a Missouri Department of Higher Education spokesperson, said collaborations between Missouri colleges and universities help keep costs down by offering program exchanges for students.
“The University of Missouri partners with several other colleges in the state to offer an occupational therapy program. University of Missouri in Kansas City partners with Missouri State University in Springfield to offer a pharmacy program,” Coleman said.
Coleman said college affordability is a huge factor for students seeking higher education. She said state funding, Access Missouri and Bright Flight scholarships are some additional ways to keep tuition rates fairly consistent while encouraging students seeking higher education.
“Keeping college affordable has played an important role in the increasing number of students that see higher education as an important part of their future,” Coleman said. “As a result, students are earning degrees at a higher rate. And Missouri has increased the percentage of adults that have a degree or certificate.”
Coleman said affordable tuition is a major draw for both in-state and out-of-state students. Nick Prewett, the MU Director of Student Aid, said that by keeping the university’s cost consistently low, MU students have a better understanding of what college will require financially.
“Knowing that the institution and the state are very committed to keeping tuition rates low allows students to help plan for college, help finance college and have a better understanding of what the costs are going to be,” Prewett said.
Prewett said students can achieve even lower tuition through merit and need-based scholarships. Prewett also said the Missouri Department of Higher Education offers out-of-state students the opportunity to save money by applying for Missouri residency, attracting students to the state.
“By keeping our costs down, it really keeps us competitive with other large, public institutions,” Prewett said.
Prewett said MU’s affordable tuition is a big draw for perspective students wishing to attend an institute of higher education.