At a time when the average cost of a college education is rapidly increasing, students at Missouri State University could pay less.
Missouri State is increasing the first-year value of some scholarships and increasing the number of students who are eligible for other scholarships. The university expects to increase the total value of scholarships offered to entering freshmen by about $1.5 million.
The Missouri State Promise Scholarship benefits low-income students who have not qualified for other academic scholarships or aid.
For 2018-19, the university will increase the first-year value of that scholarship by $500 and expand selection criteria to nearly double the number of entering freshmen who are offered the award.
Missouri State is also expanding the criteria for the Provost and Deans scholarships so that more students will qualify.
These changes are expected to result in about 750 more admitted freshmen being offered scholarships and another 450 receiving increases in their scholarship offers. These students will receive notifications from the director of scholarships.
The university is also reducing the number of hours required to graduate, freezing costs of some residence halls and taking a number of other actions that will help keep costs lower.
Reduced hours to graduate
The Missouri State Board of Governors endorsed decreasing the total numbers of hours required to graduate from 125 to 120 hours. This change is effective immediately.
An undergraduate student could save more than $1,000 based on current tuition rates.
A good value
“Missouri State has always been a great value,” said President Clif Smart. “This will make us even more affordable.”
It costs significantly less to attend Missouri State than the national and state averages for other four-year public universities.
Putting college in reach
Affordability has always been a primary goal for Missouri State. The university has more Pell-eligible and Access Missouri-eligible students than any university in Missouri.
Nearly three-fourths of freshmen in fall 2017 who were Access Missouri recipients received enough gift aid from federal, state and institutional sources to cover their tuition.
The university also leads public universities in the state in the number of transfer students.
“This is a testament to the value students receive here,” said Smart.
Freeze housing costs
Missouri State is also a leader in low cost student housing. The university’s housing costs are lower than all but three four-year public universities in Missouri.
Nevertheless, the university will freeze housing rates for three residence halls next year to keep housing affordable. Rates for Hammons, Hutchens and Scholars will not increase.
This rate freeze will affect more than 1,300 students living in those halls. This is a third of total occupancy for university residence halls.
Lower increase in costs for meals
The Board of Governors approved a contract extension with the university’s food service provider, Chartwells, yesterday (Jan. 17).
Under the old contract, Chartwells was allowed to increase the cost for meals by up to 4 percent each year. The renegotiated contract now is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which reduces the allowable increase from 4 percent to 2.1 percent for 2018-19 school year.
Decrease textbook costs
Incoming freshmen and returning students will enjoy lower costs for some textbooks for larger sections of lower-division courses. The MSU bookstore is partnering with faculty teaching larger sections to offer “StreamlinEd” versions of texts at far lower costs.
Other examples include the following:
- Biomedical science lecture textbook change resulted in decreasing cost from $210 to $35 per student.
- Multiple sections of chemistry classes sharing texts resulting in lower costs for students.
- The math department is using freely available online and/or open source materials.
“While Missouri State University has been a leader in affordability for decades, we will continue to look for ways to make a higher education as affordable as possible to the largest number of students, even in the tough budget environment we are experiencing in Missouri,” said Smart.