The UCM Board of Governors recently approved a 0.7 % mid-year increase for undergraduate academic fees, that will take effect this fall.

According to a press release from the University of Central Missouri, the fee was increased to help meet inflationary costs and address budget challenges that stem from state withholdings of appropriations, the Board of Governors approved a 0.7 percent mid-year increase in undergraduate students’ academic fees that takes effect this fall. An increase in room and board rates, was also approved at the March meeting.

The mid-year tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students was approved after the Board took into consideration Missouri Governor Eric Greiten’s announcement in January of a current fiscal year withholding of $4.15 million in state funds for UCM, along with other uncertain state revenue projections, and a state reduction of almost $5.4 million in 2018.

The board previously set its FY 2017 student instructional and general fees in February 2016, agreeing to hold in-state undergraduate tuition at the FY 2016 level in exchange for the state’s commitment to a 4 percent increase in performance- based funding. According to Susan Brockhaus, executive director of UCM Administrative Services, Finance and Administration, although the university did not increase tuition for FY 2017, the university was authorized by state statute to increase FY 2017 in-state, undergraduate tuition up to 0.7 percent without need for a state waiver.

The Higher Education Student Funding Act (HESFA) limits the amount by which an institution may increase its resident undergraduate tuition and student-required fees based on the increase in the rate of inflation, and on the institution’s existing tuition in relation to average tuition as defined by HEFSA. Institutions that increase above those limits must either return a portion of their state appropriations or seek a state waiver of the financial penalty. The rate of inflation used to calculate FY2017 tuition was 0.7 percent.

Approval of the mid-year academic fee increase will not change what students pay for tuition during the spring or summer 2017 semesters, and according to the release, the university will not retroactively charge the increase to students who are already enrolled.

Approving the 0.7 percent increase is considered a strategic move that allows the university to position itself to generate additional revenue from tuition during the 2017-2018 academic year amidst significant reductions in state financial support. With the mid-year increase, students can expect to pay $1.63 more per credit hour, or $48.90 per year, based on a full course load, which is 15 credit hours per semester. The university also has the option to increase  FY 2018 fees to the rate of inflation without a state waiver. The current rate is 2.1 percent.

Following a presentation by Shari Bax, vice provost  for student experience and engagement, and Patrick Bradley, associate vice provost for student experience and engagement, the board authorized an increase in FY 2018 room and board rates, effective for the fall 2017 semester. The total meal plan increase is 3.8 percent. That includes a 1.5 percent increase to fund capital improvements as per the agreement between UCM and Sodexo, the dining services provider, and to cover an additional increase of 2.3 percent in the “Food Away from Home CPI Index.”  University residence halls and apartment rates, which are furnished and include all utilities paid, were increased by
2 percent.

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