In 2021, a state law began that allows Missouri’s colleges and universities to charge different tuition rates for different classes. It lets the schools choose whether to have the varied tuition structure, instead of a flat rate regardless of which degree students pursue.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi told a panel of state lawmakers whether he has noticed any downsides to offering the different tuition structure.

“I’m actually seeing the opposite,” said Choi. “There’s a higher retention this year compared to last year. Last year we had a record retention of 91.3% and we are now running about two-and-a-half points higher compared to last year.”

If schools choose to charge different tuition rates based upon the degree, they cannot charge course fees – making the cost of college more transparent.

“Some degrees are less expensive to offer,” said Choi. “There are less laboratory requirements, less instrument requirements, and so forth.”

Has the new tuition structure impacted the UM System’s tuition revenue? Spokesman Christian Basi told Missourinet that information is unknown because several factors determine overall tuition revenue.

“Some of those factors include the mix of in-state and out-of-state students, retention changes, tuition rates,” he said.

House Bill 297 also removed a limit on annual tuition increases and gives the blessing to Missouri’s colleges and universities to charge more in tuition.

In addition, it requires the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to annually collect and compile information to help high school students make more informed decisions about their futures. It aims to ensure they are adequately aware of the costs of attending four-year colleges and alternative career paths.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.