"Following the tune of [the University of Missouri- Columbia's] recent cost-saving initiatives, Missouri State University President Clifton Smart announced Thursday a five-point plan to boost the university’s affordability," the Missourian reports.
"The new initiatives are part of a statewide trend to reduce higher education costs amid state budget cuts.
Despite a steady uptick in enrollment, MSU, along with MU and the 11 other publicly-funded universities in the state, has seen a consistent decline in state-appropriated funding the past several years.
Decreasing the number of credit hours required to graduate is the largest change coming to the university. The other cost-saving measures include broadening scholarship offerings, freezing some on-campus housing rates, renegotiating dining contracts and streamlining textbook costs.
This year, Missouri State’s budget experienced a $6.5 million reduction and Smart said he anticipates the trend to continue. While increasing student tuition rates is the obvious answer for colleges and universities trying to make up the difference, Smart said he is “confident that the affordability measures we announced today will soften the impact of any tuition and fee increases.”
Smart further emphasized the university’s goal to maintain its reputation as the most affordable public university in Missouri, touting affordability as the most frequently cited reason students give for their decision to attend."
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Publication Date: 1/23/2018