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Tuition is the amount of money that a student is charged by the University for instruction. Tuition costs are charged on a per credit hour basis. Furthermore, courses in some colleges have supplemental fees attached to them. Examples include courses in the College of Business, College of Engineering and School of Journalism. Tuition does not cover textbooks or related school supplies nor does it cover meal plans and residence hall fees which also appear in your monthly billing statements. It does not include mandatory charges for miscellaneous items such as the Student Health Center fee, Student Recreation Center fee, Student Activity fee and the Integrated Technology fee.
History of Tuition
Tuition levels at public universities across the country have increased significantly in recent years as the cost of education is increasingly being borne by students and not the state. Missouri is no exception. Prior to the 2007-08 school year, the Board of Curators for the University of Missouri System established tuition levels without any governmental intervention. However, in response to concerns regarding the rising cost of higher education, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 389 which limits the increase in tuition for undergraduate resident students to the CPI of the previous calendar year. In order to exceed that limitation, the university must appeal to the Department of Higher Education.
Funding for the University of Missouri
MU’s total budget is approximately $1.9 billion which includes gifts grants and enterprise operations like residential life, dining services, student health, athletics and the bookstore. These enterprise operations must fund themselves and do not receive any tuition or state funding. Of the $1.9B total budget, the “operations fund” comprised about $500 million. Tuition is the largest part of the operating budget comprising 56% while state funding comprises only 37%. Until 2004, state funding was the larger component of the operating budget but state budget cuts in the early 2000’s necessitated larger than normal tuition increases so that tuition is now a significantly larger source of the operating fund than state appropriations. Salaries and benefits are the largest expense in the operating fund accounting for 73% of the total expenses. The other 27% is classified as “non-payroll expenses” and includes travel, supplies, equipment, and scholarships.
From FY05 to FY10 MU increased Financial Aid support from institutional sources by over 45% to a total of $108 million. This includes both merit and need based aid but does not include loans or student employment. Institutional sources means tuition, state appropriations, gifts and endowments.