The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 15, 2013

MSSU board approves tuition increase

Students at Missouri Southern State University can expect a tuition increase this fall.

The university’s Board of Governors on Friday approved a 2.2 percent increase in tuition for the 2013-14 academic year. The increase of $3.72 per credit hour for in-state tuition brings the total cost per credit hour to $173.20.

“This still represents an excellent value for our students,” Rod Anderson, a board member, said in a statement.

Also approved was an increase of $7.44 per credit hour for out-of-state tuition, bringing that total cost per credit hour to $346.40.

Based on current enrollment, the tuition increase is expected to generate about $350,000 in new revenue during the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, administrators told the board early last week.

Increases in tuition are tied by state law to changes in the Consumer Price Index, university officials said. That index is up by 1.7 percent, but MSSU officials are allowed a higher tuition increase because overall tuition in Joplin is below the average cost of tuition among Missouri’s other public universities.

News of a tuition increase was “hard to hear,” said Ian Taylor, a sophomore majoring in mass communication.

“I pay for college myself,” he said. “I will still be paying for other things like my home and car insurance. It will make things a lot harder.”

Aliza Fahle, a sophomore with an undecided major, paid out-of-state tuition last year as a freshman, shelling out more for her classes than most other MSSU students.

“I either pay for everything myself, or I take out loans,” she said. “It (a tuition increase) will help Missouri Southern, but it won’t help the students.”

Xiaoyu Wu, a senior majoring in mass communication, said she already pays a lot in tuition as an international student from China.

“For us, it is a big burden,” she said.

Leah Collins, a sophomore majoring in dental hygiene, said that even with an increase, tuition at MSSU would remain the cheapest in the state among public universities.

“The students here get a quality education for that price,” she said. “I hope they spend the extra money on the professors and not cosmetics.”

Globe intern Mary Duncan contributed to this report.

Smaller increase

The increase in tuition at Missouri Southern State University is smaller this year than it has been in recent years. The board last year raised tuition by nearly 4 percent, or $6.48 per credit hour.

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