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Linn State College Drops Fee Per Governor’s Request

Linn State College Drops Fee Per Governor’s Request

The state of Missouri has had their fair share of budget woes but Governor Jay Nixon reached a deal earlier in the year with state colleges that promised education funding reductions to be no more than 5.2% if the colleges agreed to freeze tuition. Everyone seemed to be “ok” with this arrangement and moved forward with business as usual. However, Linn State Technical College took the gray area of the agreement and bended it to their favor by charging students an additional $3 dollars per credit hour for courses taken at the college.

University Officials at Linn State say they were technically abiding by the agreement because their increase was in the form of a fee and not tuition.

“It never was a tuition increase; it was a fee increase,” said John Nilges, the college’s vice president for administration and finance. “It’s a very complex misunderstanding in terms of the agreement versus the Department of Higher Education versus the institutions.”

After the dust has settled and all the calls from the Governor’s office have been appropriately responded to, Linn State has properly made the decision to rescind the $3 fee increase and abide by the original intent of the tuition freeze agreement.

Dr. Debbie Below is the Asst. Vice-President for Enrollment Management at Southeast Missouri State University and she states, “Students and families have expressed a feeling of relief as a result of this decision. Families do seem to be more conscious of the overall cost of education and they seem more likely to select a college based on the family’s ability to finance the education. I am hopeful that this means fewer students will find themselves borrowing excessively to finance the cost of college.”

The educational piece (lesson) that I want our readers at to take from this is that there is a distinct difference in the eyes of many colleges between fees and tuition. A college or university may promise a tuition freeze or a specific percentage increase in tuition but could adjust their “fees” arbitrarily to help with budgetary needs (This was the approach taken by Linn State). So, it is important that you factor in all the costs so that you are always working with a bottom line and know exactly how an increase in tuition (or fees) is going to impact what you pay from year to year.

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Missouri Access Grants On The Chopping Block

Missouri Access Grants On The Chopping Block

State budgets have been impacted hard this last year and it seems like most of the financial woes are trickling down in the form of funding cuts to various education programs. Now of course, I have come up with an alternative solution for state budget issues but for now it appears that the state of Missouri is following suit with a great number of other states and reducing the amount of money they will be providing to their students.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education has consistently provided a need based grant called ACCESS MISSOURI to Missouri students attending Missouri schools. Unfortunately though, this program used to dole out about $100 million dollars a year but after recent budget constraints they are lucky if they will be able to disburse $32 million for this coming academic year. Based upon this budget adjustment and the demand of students, it is estimated that the maximum award will be $500 for students attending public universities and $1,000 for those that are going to private colleges. The worst part about this reduction in funding is that it is going to be impacting the neediest students (since part of the qualifications are based upon your FAFSA results).

The following are the requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the Access Missouri Grant:

For New Students

  • Have a FAFSA on file by April 1, 2010.
  • Have any FAFSA corrections made by July 31, 2010 (if you are eligible, you may add school choices until September 30, 2010 by contacting the MDHE).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a Missouri resident.
  • Be an undergraduate student enrolled full time at a participating Missouri school. (Students with disabilities who are enrolled in at least six credit hours may be considered to be enrolled full time.)
  • Have an EFC of $12,000 or less.*
  • Not be pursuing a degree or certificate in theology or divinity.
  • Not have received your first bachelor’s degree, completed the required hours for a bachelor’s degree, or completed 150 semester credit hours.

For Returning Students

  • Continue to meet the eligibility requirements for initial students.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 and otherwise maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school.
  • Not have received an Access Missouri award for a maximum of five semesters at a 2-year school or 10 semesters at any combination of 2-year or 4-year schools, whichever occurs first.**

If you are a Missouri student that is being impacted by this reduction in funding, feel free to check out some of our approaches to assist you in bridging the gap in your educational expenses.

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University of Missouri Freezes Tuition for 2010-2011

University of Missouri Freezes Tuition for 2010-2011

MissouriUIn an effort to help contain education costs for undergraduate students, the University of Missouri college system has elected to keep tuition costs the same as last academic year. However, this is only part of the approved fee adjustments for the coming year. The following provides a full picture of what other financial adjustments/measures are being taken throughout the school system:

  • In-state undergraduate tuition remains frozen.
  • Out-of-state undergraduate tuition increases by 5 percent at MU and Missouri University of Science and Technology and 2.7 percent at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and University of Missouri–St. Louis.
  • Graduate student tuition increases by 2.7 percent.
  • Professional school tuition increases will vary by department. On the high end, out-of-state veterinary medicine students will see their tuition increase by 31 percent, although at the curators’ meeting, Nikki Krawitz, UM System vice president for finance and administration, who was presenting the budget to curators, made a point to say this affects a handful of students.
  • Masters of Law students will see an increase of 19 percent
  • A UMKC in-state tuition rate for four counties in the Kansas City area will expand to seven more counties.

It appears that the undergraduate students are getting the best deal out of this provision and professional disciplines (Law & Medicine) are making up the difference in revenue that needs to be generated -which one could argue that those professions will have the ability to pay back their loans more readily than the traditional undergraduate student…

The University of Missouri school system implemented the tuition freeze for undergraduate students after striking a deal with Governor Jay Nixon that would limit any funding decreases to the school to no more than 5.2%. Definitely a nice trade-off that works in the benefit of the students (non-professional) attending the University of Missouri school system.

If you would like to learn more about the University of Missouri and the 69,000 students that currently attend, you can visit their website here.

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