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University of Missouri hikes tuition 5% as student loan interest rates rise

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(The Center Square) – After learning earlier this month interest rates on student loans will be the highest in decades, students and parents learned they will pay higher tuition this fall to attend a University of Missouri system school.

The Board of Curators on Thursday announced undergraduate tuition at all four University of Missouri campuses will increase 5%. Graduate and professional tuition increases will increase between 3% and 5%.

“The tuition increase will ensure that we keep delivering results that change lives and support the economic development in Missouri,” University of Missouri President Mun Choi said in a statement announcing the increase.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education announced interest rates for student loans to be disbursed between July 1 and June 30, 2025. Undergraduate loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized, will increase from 5.5% to 6.53%. Unsubsidized graduate or professional loans will increase from 7.05% to 8.08%. Direct PLUS loans for parents and graduate or professional students will increase from 8.05% to 9.08%.

The interest rates are approaching the maximum levels set by federal law. The Higher Education Act of 1965 set the maximum interest rate for direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans to undergraduate students at 8.25%, direct unsubsidized loans to graduate students at 9.5% and direct PLUS for parents and graduate or professional students at 10.5%.

The Federal Reserve increased interest rates approximately 425 basis points to control inflation after large increases in the consumer price index in 2022. Interest rates climbed from 0 to 0.25% to 4.25% to 4.5% by 2023.

Last year, the University of Missouri system didn’t announce a tuition increase as it restructured tuition rates to eliminate fee disparities within the system and its schools. The system increased tuition 4.5% the previous year.

“As curators, we have two key guideposts when we consider tuition,” Robin Wenneker, chair of the Board of Curators, said in the statement announcing the increases. “First, we must be financially responsible fiduciaries of the university. Second, we must do all we can to provide an extraordinary educational experience that will position our graduates for immediate and long-term success.”

In April, the University of Missouri-Columbia announced a $250 million expansion to its football stadium. The university said donations will pay for a portion of the renovation, but didn’t have an exact accounting for how it would be paid for.

The media release provided links to tuition and fees information on the websites for the four schools:

Missouri University of Science and Technology: Estimated total cost of annual attendance for a freshman, including student fees, books and supplies, personal expenses, transportation and food and housing is $30,862.

University of Missouri-Columbia: A full-time student in the School of Journalism taking between 12 and 18 credit hours will pay $7,770 in tuition per semester and an additional $589 in fees for activities, recreation and health.

University of Missouri-Kansas City: Tuition ranges from $391.65 per credit hour to $488.25.

University of Missouri-St. Louis: Tuition ranges from $504 per credit hour to $623.

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