Funding Proposal Protects Students From Tuition Increases
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 22, 2009) –While a weak economy could cause students nationwide to pay more for their education, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced a historic budget agreement for fiscal year 2010 that ensures stable funding for higher education institutions and protects Missouri students from tuition increases.
The agreement reached by the governor and leaders of Missouri’s public four-year colleges and universities, in fiscal year 2010, calls for institutions to receive the same state appropriations they received in fiscal year 2009. Institutions, in return, have pledged not to raise tuition or academic fees during the 2009-2010 academic year.
“To turn this economy around, we must ensure that Missouri’s workforce is trained and prepared for the jobs of the future, and Missouri students must have access to an affordable four-year degree,” Nixon said in a press release that was issued as he visited three campuses across the state. “While students in many other states are likely to face double-digit tuition increases next year, Missouri students can rest assured that their tuition rates will stay the same. It will take more of these innovative, collaborative agreements to get our economy moving in the right direction.
UCM President Podolefsky praised this innovative approach in a difficult budget year by noting, “On behalf of our students, faculty and staff, I’m extremely appreciative of the governor’s support for higher education. This rekindles the notion that Missouri can be a leader in a new economy, and I think it shows profound insight on the governor’s part about what it takes to move the state forward.” He stressed that access to higher education and providing a quality education will continue to be priorities at UCM.
According to the governor, the economic crisis is causing other states to consider significant tuition increases as they enter the next budget cycle. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, is proposing tuition increases of up to 13 percent at some institutions, and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is recommending a 7 percent tuition increase in her 2009-2011 biennial budget – the highest increased allowed by that state’s statutes.
Podolefsky said that with the new plan for funding higher education, the institution must continue to seek ways to address mandatory increases, such as increases in utilities and the cost of providing health care benefits for university employees. UCM will do this amidst flat funding during the next fiscal year.
The governor’s plan is subject to legislative review.