At the conclusion of Missouri's Regular 2021 Legislative Session, the General Assembly approved several bills which directly affect Southeast Missouri State University.
HB 297, sponsored by Rep. Wayne Wallingford, from Cape Girardeau, modifies provisions in previous house bills related to higher education.
The most notable bill, was that of HB 856. It "allows public colleges and universities to exceed the limitations on tuition increases currently established by the Higher Education Student Funding Act", beginning on July 1, 2022.
The initial legislation was sponsored by Rep. Doug Richey, a Republican from Excelsior Springs.
Rep. Wallingford also introduced language in the final bill (HB 297), that designated Southeast Missouri State University as an institution with a statewide mission in performing arts, computer science, and cybersecurity.
On Fri. May 14, during the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents meeting, new tuition and fees for the 2021-22 academic year were set, which included an overall increase, maintaining the existing general fee, but eliminating four other fees.
The total tuition and general fees for undergraduate Missouri residents rises from $267.50 to $290.50 per credit hour--approximately 8.5 %.
Online tuition rates are now at $317.50 per credit hour for undergraduates and $386.50 for graduate courses.
For regional campus courses in the lower division, the rate is set at $193 per credit hour.
Part of the increase in tuition, as stated, is due to the elimination of additional web, webinar, ITV and off campus fees.
Dr. Brad Sheriff, vice president for finance and administration at Southeast, stated that "incorporating these fees into tuition allows students to use 'tuition-only' scholarships and reimbursement plans to cover these costs, giving them more financial flexibility".
According to Sheriff, many students also found the previous tuition and fee structure confusing, and the change would let those attending Southeast Missouri State University choose the mode of instruction that best suits their needs.
The $6.25 increase goes into effect starting in the Fall 2021 semester, and applies equally to resident and nonresident undergraduates; and resident and nonresident graduate students.
You can read the entire statement from the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents meeting on May 14, 2021, at semo.edu.