Regents Approve Extension of $400 Tuition Guarantee Program for Missouri Students

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The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved an extension of a $400 Tuition Guarantee Program for Missouri students through spring 2012.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 11, 2007 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved an extension of a $400 Tuition Guarantee Program for Missouri students through spring 2012.

Today’s Board action extends the original guarantee for an additional year.

In September, the Board approved a tuition guarantee, assuring students and their parents that incidental fees for all Missouri resident undergraduate students enrolled in fall 2007 would not rise more than $400 per year for a typical academic year load of 30 credit hours (15 credit hours taken each fall and spring semester) through spring 2011.

The initial program provided a guarantee from fall 2007 through spring 2011. In order for the upcoming high school senior class to have the same commitment as they consider a four-year degree program, the guarantee has been extended one more year.

Kathy Mangels, vice president for Business and Finance, says Southeast is committed to providing high quality education at a reasonable cost and will continue to hold tuition as low as possible depending on state appropriations. She says Southeast will strive toward an annual increase that is less than $400, adding the most likely cost based on the recent average tuition increase of $9 per credit hour would be $5,574 for 2008-2009, $5,844 for 2009-2010, $6,114 for 2010-2011, $6,384 for 2011-2012, for a four-year total of $23,916.

The maximum possible cost for freshmen entering in fall 2008 with the $400 tuition guarantee would be $5,834 for 2008-2009, $6,234 for 2009-2010, $6,634 for 2010-2011 and $7,034 for 2011-2012, for maximum four-year cost of $25,736, Mangels said.

The Tuition Guarantee Program is designed to address concerns by students and parents that it is difficult to budget for higher education costs due to the possibility of extreme fluctuations in tuition. With the program, when a student enrolls at Southeast, it is now possible to calculate the maximum cost of incidental fees (tuition) that will be required for a student to pay for courses over the next four years.

“This will help families plan for students’ education expenses without the threat of unanticipated costs,” Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins has said.

Mangels says the commitment is simple and straightforward. There is nothing to sign and the promise is extended to all Missouri undergraduates, freshmen through seniors, who enroll at Southeast beginning in fall 2007 and continuing through spring 2012.

While Southeast has historically held fee increases to relatively low levels, all Missouri public universities raised tuition from 2002 to 2004 by amounts that were larger than usual to compensate in part for reductions in state appropriations for higher education. Because of these increases, the cost of education at Southeast was higher than students and their families had planned when students first enrolled, she said.

“Southeast is very affordable when compared nationally and within Missouri,” Dobbins said.

Southeast’s per credit hour rate this year for Missouri undergraduate students is $167.80. Southeast’s fees still remain lower than almost every comparable University in this region. Southeast’s incidental fees for fiscal 2007 are less than the University of Missouri-Columbia’s rate of $227.30 per credit hour, Missouri State University’s rate of $173 per credit hour, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s rate of $193.60 per credit hour and Truman State University’s rate of $234.17 per credit hour.

Southeast’s textbook rental plan also typically saves its students $600 a year or more compared to the cost of buying books at most institutions.

“Our commitment is to continue keeping Southeast Missouri State University affordable without sacrificing quality,” Dobbins has said.

The Southeast Tuition Guarantee Plan is simple, straightforward and applies to all students without substantial surcharges.  Each year, the University’s 28-member Budget Review Committee will review all revenues, expenses and proposed mission enhancements to balance the next year’s budget and recommend an increase in tuition.  The Southeast program guarantees that the tuition increase will not exceed $400 per year through Spring 2012.  Hopefully, the increase will be less than $400 since, historically, even with unprecedented state appropriation reductions in 2002-2004, the average tuition increase over the past eight years was approximately $270 per year.

“This plan allows students – both those who are in college along with high school students who are planning to attend college in the next four years — to plan financially for their educational future,” Dobbins has said.