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COLUMBIA – UM System President Mun Choi announced of “very promising” application numbers at Friday's meeting. 

Applications are up at every campus compared to last year. This could mean first-time college and transfer enrollment could increase across the system when the 2018-19 academic year begins in August.

Mizzou had 2500 additional applicants when compared to last year- a 17 percent increase. 

“Our strong applications come at a time when there are fewer high school graduates throughout most of the country and increased competition among higher education institutions,” Choi said.

Choi also presented diversity progress across all campuses. According to US News and World Report, Mizzou ranks twelfth in African American enrollment when compared to top 50 universities.

Choi said he was “pleased to note that compared to last year, throughout the University of Missouri system, there are now 2300 more African American and Hispanic student applicants.”

Curators then talked about possible solutions to compensate for the state’s proposed budget cuts. Two questions brought forward by curators: Do you increase tuition, or do you keep cutting staff?

Choi said Missouri is the fourth lowest in the nation for tuition increases from 2008 to 2015. However, he said they have seen a dramatic number of students leaving the state.

“This is called a brain drain- something the system cannot afford,” Choi said.

Choi said the FY19 budget would put funding, which is proposed at $376 million, at the 1998 level in nominal dollars and 1970 in real dollars.

“We can’t cut our way to excellence,” Choi said.

He said there have been $101 million in budget cuts and reallocations, and more than 500 faculty and staff separations.

Choi said the two biggest priorities in terms of funding are getting $40 million in core funding restored and getting relief from Senate Bill 389. The bill eliminates tuition caps.

The board will meet again in April.

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