JOPLIN, MO. Missouri Southern State University's Board of Governors has agreed to freeze tuition, which the university says has gone up every year since at least 1986.
The board agreed Friday that students will pay the same $127 per credit hour next year that they are paying this year. Among the largest tuition increases since 1986 was a 37 percent jump in 2002 from $90 per credit hour to $124 per credit hour.
University President Julio Leon said the administration felt the upcoming year's tuition freeze would be possible because Missouri Gov. Bob Holden has estimated the school would receive $20.3 million in state aid, the amount appropriated this fiscal year before cuts were ordered.
"Given the fact that the economy is beginning to improve and under the assumption that the contributions from the state in all likelihood will climb, we feel it might be desirable to have restraint as we did last year," said Leon, adding that the university would expect departments to continue to make do with less.
Leon said he did not foresee having to revisit the decision unless the economy changed.
"Even if there are no appropriation increases, we are going to be OK," Leon said.
Stacey Allen, student representative to the Board of Governors, said the tuition freeze should help the university retain students.
"A lot of the students put themselves through school," Allen said. "They work or have kids, and (tuition increases) are a burden for them."
She said the announcement would surprise many students.