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March 17, 2017
Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents, during its regular meeting March 16, approved an increase of the University’s tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year in addition to a series of program-specific fees in an effort to maintain the quality of select programs and a competitive advantage over peers.
“What we have done, unequivocally, is fought hard through our budget process to make sure we keep education at Northwest Missouri State University accessible and affordable, while still protecting the quality,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski told the Board.
Northwest proposed the tuition increase based on the allowable rate for undergraduate resident tuition and fees, established by the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) and a Missouri statute that limits the state’s colleges and universities from raising tuition above CPI.
Northwest’s tuition for undergraduate students will increase by 2.8 percent, a sum of CPI rates booked for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. A CPI of 2.1 percent is being implemented for FY18, while a CPI of 0.7 percent was previously booked for FY17 but could only be implemented after state universities received a mid-year appropriations decrease in January.
Northwest is not implementing a tuition increase for graduate students.
In summarizing their proposal to Regents, University administrators noted Northwest continues to offer a great value proposition and is one of the most efficient in the region – and even the country – in delivering quality education and programs to its students and stakeholders, as evidenced through the results of performance funding metrics spanning retention, graduation, academic performance, the percentage of budget devoted to core mission, and a continued focus on affordability.
“Protecting accessibility and affordability while ensuring the enhancement of quality is a primary focus and balancing act in establishing rates,” Northwest Vice President of Finance Stacy Carrick said, adding that Northwest reviews and analyzes respective CPI rates for tuition, housing and meal plans as well as projected inflationary costs such as utilities and health insurance.
Northwest reports that 90 percent of its first-time, full-time students receive some type of financial assistance. Additionally, Northwest’s tuition increases have been among the lowest in the nation during the last eight years while the state of Missouri recorded the third lowest increase nationally during that period.
The University’s placement rates for undergraduates and graduates are 97 and 99 percent, respectively, and its student loan default rate of 8 percent is below the state average of 11.5 percent and the national average of 11.3 percent.
Northwest also points to the value of its internationally benchmarked student employment program, which provides about 1,200 jobs to students on the campus, and its textbook and laptop rental programs, which are included in the University’s tuition rates and not offered by most universities.
The textbook program bundles and provides undergraduate students with all of their primary textbooks at the start of each trimester. The laptop program provides all students with a fully loaded laptop notebook computer as well as technical support. The programs save students an estimated total of $7,300 – the equivalent of about one year of tuition at other Missouri institutions – during the course of a four-year academic career.
In addition to tuition rates for 2017-2018, the Board approved a series of discipline-specific program fees to cover costs for non-standard coursework. Discipline-specific program fees are a widely-used mechanism by universities, Carrick explained, to more closely tie the true cost of education to students who benefit from a course of study. It also allows universities to align fees based on program demand, yield, cost and market competitiveness.
The Board approved an increase to board rates, or meal plans, by an average of 2.6 percent, depending on the range of meal plans students select, and an increase of room rates by 1 percent.
In other business, the Board approved curriculum changes that include the creation of a master’s program in curriculum and instruction and revisions to the University’s master’s degree in education leadership: K-12 to adopt new national standards for that area. The Board also approved a change to Northwest’s honors program to allow students who enroll with a large number of dual or transfer credits opportunities to earn academic credits through experiential learning programs such as internships, study abroad experiences and service learning.
The Board also approved revisions to Chapter Two of Northwest’s Faculty Handbook, which details contractual terms and conditions of faculty employment at the University.
Jasinski also recognized Student Senate President Hannah Sears and Board member Gene Dorrel. With elections for the next Student Senate president taking place at Northwest this week, Sears was appearing at the meeting as president of the student governing body for the last time. Dorrel, whose term with the Board expired Jan. 1, also may have appeared at his last meeting as a regent, pending an appointment by the governor to fill his seat.
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