Legislative Priorities

Legislative priority: Core restoration

In Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021, the General Assembly appropriated $94,001,060 to Missouri State University for core operating appropriations. However, the source of funds was different.

In FY2020:

  • $84,330,941 from General Revenue Fund (0101)
  • $9,670,119 from Lottery Proceeds Fund (0291)

In FY2021:

  • $75,897,847 from General Revenue Fund (0101)
  • $9,670,119 from Lottery Proceeds Fund (0291)
  • $8,433,094 from Federal Budget Stabilization Fund (2390)

Missouri State University appreciates the General Assembly’s creativity in finding a way to sustain the university’s core operating appropriation during a difficult budget year.

However, use of the Federal Budget Stabilization Fund was designed as a single-year solution.

Missouri State University requests that its core appropriation and source of funding be restored to the FY2020 level.

Administrative priority: Reallocate tuition

Missouri State University currently charges two in-state undergraduate tuition rates: seated and online. Our online rate is higher than the seated rate.

Missouri State is working toward a plan to charge the same tuition rate for seated and online courses. The rationale for this change includes:

  • It will be fairer for students and allow them better transparency on what they can expect to pay for classes.
  • It will allow the university to make decisions about how to offer a class based on the course and instructor without having to consider financial impacts on students or the university.
  • The difference between “online” and “seated” classes becomes blurry as more classes are offered in a “blended” format where some portion of the class is delivered online.

Unfortunately, MSU cannot simply reduce the tuition for online classes to the current seated rate without causing substantial financial problems that would threaten its operations.

The university will work with the Commissioner of Higher Education and other higher education leaders in the coming months to develop a new tuition rate that is less than its current online tuition rate but more than the seated rate.

Our goal is to arrive at a rate that has minimal impact on the typical student who enrolls in some online and some seated classes each semester.

We will also arrive at a tuition rate that does not affect the university’s finances positively or negatively. Any increase in seated tuition will be offset by a decrease in online tuition. While one student may pay a bit more or less under the plan (depending on how many seated and online classes they take), the student body as a whole will pay the same amount of tuition under the new model as they would pay under the current tuition model. The tuition change will be revenue-neutral for the university.

While the new tuition model will not require legislative action, it may require approval from the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Coordinating Board of Higher Education.

Missouri State University requests broad support from policymakers throughout the state as it works to develop a new, fairer tuition model.