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March 10, 2016
Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents, during its regular meeting Monday, unanimously approved a zero percent increase of the University’s tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year while also approving a package of fees to enhance the campus’ infrastructure and cultural climate.
Northwest’s tuition will remain $180.61 per credit hour for in-state undergraduate students and $391.29 for out-of-state undergraduate students. For graduate students, tuition is $252.86 for in-state students and $505.72 for out-of-state students.
“One of the things that we continue to be proud of is that we’ve had the lowest tuition increase in the nation over the last six years,” Northwest Vice President of Finance Stacy Carrick told the Board. “Many of these factors play into our decisions as we move forward with tuition and fees and room and board rates.”
In summarizing their proposal to Regents, University administrators pointed to Northwest’s focus on affordability and quality. Moody’s recently affirmed Northwest’s stable credit rating while the University’s performance-funding metrics remain strong. Furthermore, Northwest’s placement rates are 97 percent for undergraduate degree earners and 99 percent for graduate degree earners, its student loan default rate and student indebtedness are below state and national averages, and tuition increases are the lowest in the nation during the last six years.
Carrick added the value of Northwest’s textbook rental program, for which rates have remained flat while costs have risen 73 percent during the last decade. Northwest also provides financial assistance to 90 percent of its first-time, full-time freshman, and the University offers 1,200 student employee positions.
In addition to approving the University’s recommendation to hold tuition for undergraduate and graduate in-state and out-of-state residents, Regents approved the University’s proposed and Student Senate-approved fees to support implementation of a campus master plan ($20 per credit hour), technology upgrades ($2 per credit hour) and enhancing the campus climate ($2 per credit hour).
The fees are driven and prioritized by Northwest’s strategic plan and two of its objectives. Northwest’s strategic objective of organizational viability includes its ongoing work with Ayers Saint Gross, a Baltimore-based master planning and architectural firm, and the University’s comprehensive campaign. The second strategic objective – enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion – is shaped by outcomes of a climate survey, a student forum on social justice, and the work of students, faculty and staff comprising a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Carrick commended the Student Senate’s diligence to study and discuss the impacts of the fees, calling it a thorough process that led to the Board’s approval.
“They had some very healthy and good discussions and challenged themselves to go out and talk with their constituents across campus before they voted,” Carrick said.
During her report to the Board, acting Student Senate President Paige Diels also thanked the Student Senate and its advisors for their evaluation of the fees. Diels said Student Senate leaders invested several hours discussing the fees as well as meeting with University leaders and touring campus facilities to educate themselves about impacts of the fees.
“Do not think that this decision was made light-heartedly,” Diels said. “I know when I come back in 20 years with my kids I’m going to be proud of the University.”
Additionally, the Board voted to hold room rates and increase meal plans by an average of 2.2 percent, depending on the range of meal plans students may select.
Among the curriculum changes approved by the Board, Northwest will replace the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirement for English graduate programs with a writing sample and a statement of intent to more accurately evaluate potential students’ readiness for graduate work. The Board also voted to eliminate the wait period to supersede a course.
In other business, the Board gave the University approval to add two faculty positions in its computer science and information systems program. The Board also approved a multiyear contract allowing Northwest to transition to a new learning management system and adopted amendments to a series of bond resolutions.
The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468