A $55.7 million increase for higher education in Missouri is a part of Governor Jay Nixon’s 2017 budget proposal. The plan is a 6% increase that brings total state funding for higher education to $985 million for next year.
Nixon says an agreement has also been made with Missouri’s colleges and universities to freeze tuition next year.
“As a result, these Presidents and Chancellors have agreed to freeze tuition for Missouri’s undergraduates next year. That means, once again for the fourth time in my administration, Missouri undergraduates won’t pay a penny more in tuition next year,” said Nixon. “It’s good for students, good for families and it’s good for our economy. The less debt students take on when they’re in school, the more they can spend when they graduate.”
Each institution’s board would have to agree to the tuition freeze. As part of the deal, Missouri colleges and universities would dedicate at least $9.2 million of the increased funding to Science, Technology and Math related programs.
The Legislature has to decide if it will support the plan and Nixon says he feels confident the Legislature will.
“Keeping costs down for individual students and keeping the debt load down for those students is also very important. I’m extremely optimistic that this measure will find its way to my desk,” said Nixon.
Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), a member of the education and appropriations committees, says the proposed increase is a positive step.
“Even though that might not be where we end up through the negotiation process, it’s a tremendous start and a tremendous victory for higher education,” said Pearce.
He says he hopes aid for scholarships will also receive attention by the Governor.