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March 19, 2021

Regents approve emergency funds for students, book multi-year tuition rate


Northwest Missouri State University students will soon see some federal money arriving in their bank accounts after the institution’s Board of Regents, during its regular session on Thursday afternoon, unanimously approved a proposal to distribute student emergency grant funds.

The funding is authorized under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II, which requires that institutions prioritize assisting students with exceptional need. With the Board’s approval, Northwest will distribute the funds to eligible students this spring through a three-tier system, using criteria set forth in CRRSAA.

Students can expect to receive allocations of $200, $450 or $1,000, based on their level of need. Pell Grant recipients will receive the largest stimulus payments within the first tier. The second tier represents students with a FAFSA filed and an annual expected family contribution (EFC) less than $30,000. The third tier represents students with a FAFSA filed and an annual EFC greater than or equal to $30,000 as well as students with no FAFSA filed.

Online professional students enrolled in Northwest undergraduate and graduate programs and international students are not eligible to receive the grant funds.

Presenting the proposal to the Board, Northwest Vice President of Finance and Administration Stacy Carrick said the University is expecting to allocate nearly $2.4 million in federal emergency grant funds to students enrolled this spring. More than 4,400 Northwest students will receive a portion of the emergency grant funds – nearly 600 more than the number who received federal emergency funds distributed through the University a year ago.

Carrick said Northwest will send communication to eligible students that encourages them to update their direct deposit information and provides an opportunity to opt-out of receiving the funding. The University has one year to distribute the funds under the regulation of the act from the effective date of Dec. 27, 2020.

 

Tuition rates approved

Regents approved rates for Northwest’s 2021-22 academic year, including tuition and fees, room and board rates, and supplemental fees in support of the University’s continued emphasis on accessibility and affordability.

The tuition rates will be implemented over a two-year period at estimated average annual net price increases of $460 for undergraduate residents and $480 for undergraduate non-residents. During the 2021-22 academic year students will see an estimated average annual net price increase of $265 for undergraduate residents and $307 for undergraduate non-residents.

The rates align with the allowable rate for undergraduate resident tuition, based on 1.4 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), provided by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (DHEWD) under the Higher Education Student Funding Act (HESFA). Additional factors in the decision include a year-over-year decrease in state appropriations and Northwest receiving approval of a waiver filed with DHEWD to create a single blended tuition rate implemented over the two-year period.

Increases to meal plans and room rates will increase about 3 percent based on CPI. Online professional tuition rates will increase based on market adjustments, while graduate students will see no changes to the University’s traditional graduate program tuition and fees.

Carrick explained to the Board that the single blended tuition rate is prompted by several factors, including post-pandemic student expectations and faculty capabilities as well as current and prospective student preference for flexibility. In addition, the phased implementation period provides a mechanism to limit the University’s use of reserve funds.

Northwest’s Student Senate overwhelmingly supported the proposal and voted to reduce their co-curricular designated fees from 50 cents to 40 cents. Fees for technology and textbooks – which support Northwest’s innovative textbook and laptop rental programs and save students an estimated $7,200 during a four-year academic career – remain unchanged.

Carrick also noted 98 percent of first-time, full-time students receive some type of financial assistance. While the institution’s average net price is favorable compared to the average of top competitors in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, an average Northwest student’s indebtedness is lower than both state and national averages. With placement rates at 96 percent for undergraduate students and 99 percent for graduate students, the University also points to the value of its internationally benchmarked student employment program, which provides about 1,200 jobs to students on the campus.

Further, a report released by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development in January shows Northwest is the most efficient among state universities for state appropriations per degree and certificate granted. Additionally, it shows Northwest receives the second-lowest level of funding per full-time equivalent – all while the University logged record enrollment last fall and its highest graduate enrollment this spring.

“Our approach is focused on affordability, strategic investments in enrollment, program growth and student need-based scholarship support while protecting the use of reserves,” Carrick said, adding that Northwest reviews and analyzes respective CPI rates for tuition, housing and food as well as projected inflationary costs, such as utilities, health insurance and license agreements.

 

Football locker room renovation

The Board approved a proposed renovation of the Bearcat football program’s locker room and authorized the University to award a construction contract not to exceed $1.5 million.

The renovation project includes upgrading heating, cooling and ventilation systems; showers and restrooms; lighting; and lockers. The project also includes improvements to the layout and functionality of the locker room, relocating the equipment room for enhanced functionality and widening an entrance to the facility.

The project is part of the first phase of a multi-phase, multi-year improvement plan to enhance Lamkin Activity Center and Bearcat Arena to address issues related to safety and security, infrastructure and program needs.

The project, which is being fully funded through donations to the Northwest Foundation, is targeted for completion by July 30. Regents approved the proposal with a contingency that any additional costs would also be funded by donors.

 

In other business

Regents approved revisions to three Bachelor of Science in Education programs specializing in chemistry, physics and Earth science, which are housed in the Department of Natural Sciences. Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman explained to the Board that the programs, which help students meet certification requirements in Missouri for teaching grades 9-12, were revised as the result of recent policy changes by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Board also approved the appointment of Kevin C. Hawkins Jr. as a University police officer.

The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704