April 23, 2021–Tuition and fees for Missouri Western State University students will increase by slightly less than allowed for under state law in 2021-22. Missouri Western’s Board of Governors approved the tuition and fees changes at their regular meeting April 22.
“Affordability is important to our students, and we remain one of the best values in higher education in the state of Missouri,” said Darrell Morrison, vice president for finance and administration.
Tuition for in-state, undergraduate students will increase $10 per credit hour, to $230. The total cost of tuition and fees for an in-state undergraduate student will be just under the $7,749.65 cap set by the state of Missouri’s Higher Education Student Funding Act.
Housing rates, ranging from $2,512 to $3,774 per semester, will not increase. Under terms of the University’s contract with food service provider Aramark, meal plans will increase between 3.4 and 4.4 percent, depending on the plan selected.
FY 2021-22 Budget
The tuition and fee package was part of the 2021-22 budget approved by the Board of Governors. The balanced budget is based on steady enrollment and retention, additional emergency COVID-19 relief from the federal government and a restoration of state appropriations to FY19 levels. Because of actions taken last year, salary and benefit expenses will drop by more than $1.1 million, and no additional staff or faculty reductions are planned. Scholarship expenses are expected to increase by $665,000 based on the reinstatement of Missouri Western’s A+ Scholarship and the annual growth of Griffon Guarantee Scholarships.
In total, revenues in the 2021-22 budget total $4,277 more than the approximately $76.6 million in expenses.
FY 2020-21 Budget
Next year’s balanced budget represents a dramatic turnaround from the budget that was approved at the start of the current fiscal year with a deficit of more than $4.5 million. Missouri Western was able to close that gap with a one-time transfer of money from the MWSU Foundation, federal emergency COVID-19 relief and reductions in expenses.
“I anticipate that we will end this fiscal year on June 30 with a small surplus,” Morrison said. “There is a lot of credit to go around for that encouraging news: to the Board of Governors, who have made a number of difficult decisions over the past year; to our donors and Foundation Board of Directors, who generously supported the University in our time of need; and to our faculty and staff, who have worked tirelessly to continue serving our students while holding the line on expenses.”
Missouri Western’s cash position–the money it has on hand–has increased by more than $3.5 million in the last two years, from $13.3 million on March 31, 2019 to $16.9 million this March 31.
The improved financial picture has Morrison considering a recommendation to end Missouri Western’s state of financial emergency, which the Board declared last year.
“We’re not quite there yet, but we may be there soon, depending on enrollment and state funding next year,” he said.
In other action, the Board of Governors approved bids for four capital improvement projects:
- $316,147.76 to WJ Cole Floors to replace carpet in Scanlon Hall
- $309,500 to Hallowell Painting Construction to paint interior walls in Scanlon Hall
- $832,000 to Delta Innovative Services Inc. to repair the roof on Murphy Hall and replace the roof on Hearnes Center
- $662,629 to Keller Construction to repair and resurface various parking lots
The Scanlon Hall projects are funded through the University Repair and Replacement account. The roof and parking lot repairs are funded through the State of Missouri Capital Appropriations Fund.
Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.