Missouri Leads the Nation in Keeping Tuition Costs Low at Public Universities

by

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/KOMU NEWS

Here's something to be proud of: Missouri's public universities have done a better job than any other higher education system in the nation at holding down costs in the last seven years.

That's according to Trends in Higher Education, which shows Missouri had the lowest price increase of any state when it comes to public university tuition and fees from 2008 to 2015.

Governor Jay Nixon proudly announced the news, saying, "This report reaffirms Missouri’s leadership in keeping a lid on tuition hikes, especially when compared with the dramatic tuition increases seen in other states. Easing the burden of student loan debt has been one of my top priorities from Day One, and that is why I look forward to working with the General Assembly to once again freeze tuition for Missouri undergraduates next year.”

According to numbers in the report crunched by the governor's office, here are the five states with the lowest percentage tuition and fee increases since 2008-2009:

1. Missouri, 9.21 percent 
2. Maine, 9.23 percent
3. Montana, 9.70 percent
4. Ohio, 10.9 percent
5. Iowa, 12.86 percent

The bottom of the pack? The biggest percent increases were notched by Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana and the District of Columbia. D.C.'s percent increase topped 81 percent in the last seven years; the other three states were all in the mid-70s. Pretty shameful.

But in Missouri, at least, we can expect the favorable trends to continue. Tuition at Missouri universities has been frozen for the 2016 to 2017 academic year.

The average cost of a four-year university nationwide is $9,410 annually. Missouri universities are currently lower than that, charging an average of just over $8,000 annually.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


comment