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affordability | University News

Board Sets Tuition, Housing Fees During March Meeting

By Jeff Murphy, March 21, 2018

WARRENSBURG, MO – Part of an overall strategy to address an expected $5.4 million  decline in state funding for Fiscal Year 2019, the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors is putting a 2.1 percent increase in base resident undergraduate and graduate tuition on the books in preparation for the fall 2018 semester.

Board action was taken during a meeting on campus March 16. The academic fee increase is consistent with the 12-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflationary rate. It is not inclusive of specific program fee increases that also were approved for certain high-demand academic areas that cost the university more to deliver due to factors such as equipment needs and salaries needed to attract qualified faculty in these special areas.

 The 2.1 percent increase is on record for planning purposes, although tuition charged beginning this fall could be less depending on legislative action to possibly restore or significantly reduce the $68 million cut in higher education funding recommended by Governor Eric Greitens. This is on top of a restriction of 2.5 percent in higher education funding for the current year along with significant reductions in the prior fiscal year. The amount of tuition charged for FY19 also could be affected by any stipulations legislators impose on tuition increases in exchange for restored funding.

The increase approved by the board sets the base rate for in-state undergraduate students at $225.65 per semester hour, up from $221. In-state graduate students would pay $298.50 per credit hour compared to the current rate of $292.35. Base tuition for non-resident undergraduate students is $451.30 per credit hour, up from $442, and
the tuition for non-resident graduate students is $597 per semester, an increase over the current rate of $584.70.

Among actions related to tuition and fees, the board approved a 2.4 percent increase in tuition rates for graduate programs at UCM-Lee’s Summit and online courses so those students will pay $348.50 per credit hour. It also approved a 2.1 percent change in tuition rates for entrepreneurial, Kodaly, and cohort programs; no increase in the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Ethical Strategic Leadership tuition, but inclusion of all graduate business courses (with indicated prefix and location) in this rate; a 2.1 percent increase in graduate computer science and computer information systems course tuition at UCM-Lee’s Summit, making the per-credit-hour cost $398.50.  Board action also called for no increase in dual credit or extended campus contract rates, and inclusion of dual enrollment at the dual credit rate.

UCM has a statewide mission in professional applied science and technology, and about half of the university’s graduates study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas. This costs UCM more than many other programs to deliver because of equipment needs and recruiting academically qualified faculty. The board took this into consideration when it approved a $25 per-semester-hour program fee for all undergraduate courses, except for general education, and for graduate courses except for computer science, in the College of Health Science and Technology.  

The board also approved a program fee of $25 per credit hour for all upper-level (3000-4000) business courses within the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. The purpose is to ensure sustainability of programs that serve over 13 percent of all UCM students in 11 different majors. UCM tuition per credit hour is among the lowest relative to regional American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business.     

The board approved a program fee of $75 per credit hour across all modes of delivery for graduate courses in communication disorders. The intent of the additional charge above the base graduate tuition rate is to create a better alignment of this accredited program’s revenues and program costs so that it can remain competitive. The cost to students for this program, including the increase, will continue to be the lowest among those in the state that offer graduate speech-language pathology  programs that are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
A request to charge a lab fee to every flight course in order to recover costs associated with the administration of the oral stage and oral end-of-course examinations required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was approved. These examinations must be delivered by the university’s most-experienced flight instructors who have been designated by the FAA as Stage examiners and End-of-Course examiners. No such fees have been charged to date. The proposed lab fees range from $63 to $147 per flight course and are the lowest fees for any professional examinations offered by many occupations. They will help the flight school and Skyhaven Airport continue to be self-sustaining.

The Department of Aviation also requested a lab fee for a newly offered 1000-level academic course, AVIA 2345 Glass Cockpits. The course requires four hours of dual flight training, which was set at $800, and approved by the board.

Room and board rates were approved. The meal plan will increase to a total of 4 percent, which encompasses a 1.5 percent increase to help fund capital improvements as per the agreement between UCM and its dining services provider, SODEXO, along with a 2.5 percent increase allowed for the “2017 Food Away from Home CPI Index.” The meal plan for first-year and sophomore students was set at $1,632 per semester, an increase of 3.88 percent above the current rate of $1,571. Additionally, a 2 percent-per-semester increase above the current rate was approved for a double occupancy room, making the cost $2,751, up from this year’s rate of $2,697. Single occupancy, which is limited, was set at $3,351 per semester, a $600 increase above the single room rate.

In other business, the board approved the award of a contract for investment management services to PFM Asset Management LLC, St. Louis, for one year with the option of four additional one-year renewals. The university has previously handled investment management services in-house. This contract enables the institution to ensure it is getting the most effective and efficient management of its assets. The university expects to incur costs of $77,500 for transfer of fees and other annual and brokerage fees associated with the account. Fees would be paid from earning received on invested assets.

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